The global sportswear sector is set to generate an additional US$55bn in new sales by 2017, according to new research released by Euromonitor.

In 2012, the global sportswear market grew by more than 7.5% and exceeded US$244bn in sales.

Valued at an estimated US$80bn, the US market for sportswear is by far the largest globally, over three times higher in value than the second-ranked sportswear market China, the data shows.

Meanwhile, the four largest markets - the US, China, Japan and Brazil - collectively accounted for over half of total sportswear sales in value terms in 2012.

"The strong recovery of the global apparel market is on its way, with sales recording almost 6% value growth in 2012," explained Magdalena Kondej, Euromonitor's head of apparel research. 

Sportswear is one of the most dynamic categories driving this solid performance with the largest gains recorded in North America and Asia Pacific, the report found.

"Russia, Ukraine and Argentina are the star sportswear markets with the highest growth recorded in 2012," Kondej added.

"Looking forward, sales in Russia are set to almost double in value by 2017 and the country is expected to overtake all Western European countries including Italy, the UK, France and Germany."