Sales of arms and military services by the industry’s 100 largest companies worldwide continued to increase in 2020, despite the pandemic, totaling $531 billion, according to new data released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
This figure marks an increase of 1.3% in real terms compared with the previous year.
The arms sales of the companies in 2020 were 17% higher than in 2015 – the first year for which SIPRI included data on Chinese firms – and this marked the sixth consecutive year of growth in arms sales by the top 100.
Commenting on the increase despite the pandemic-caused contraction of the global economy, Alexandra Marksteiner, a researcher with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, said, “The industry giants were largely shielded by sustained government demand for military goods and services.”
“In much of the world, military spending grew and some governments even accelerated payments to the arms industry in order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” Marksteiner said.
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