Exhibitor bookings and buyer pre-show registrations suggest that the October 2002 Intertextile Shanghai will be the biggest in the event's eight-year history - improving on last year's record turnout of 628 exhibitors and 30,012 visitors. Their confidence stems from recently issued Chinese government statistics which show that not only is China holding its own as the world's largest consumer of textile products, but that, in sharp contrast to many other nations, the Chinese national economy generally is "forging ahead with a real GDP which rose by 7 per cent during the first quarter of the current year."