Thanks to Michael S. for sending in this chart from the economists at IMF (via this blog).
At its heart, this is a scatter plot that displays the correlation between a country's development stage (indicated by its PPP GDP) and the importance of the industrial sector to its economy.
On top of that, the chart adds a third dimension of time by linking the dots together with lines. The lines trace the evolution in each country or set of countries. Some countries (mostly developed nations) have a clear trend; others exhibit choppy curves which imply fluctuating economic conditions.
The shading in the chart is supposed to draw attention to an inflection point around $15,000 per capita GDP, wherefrom the industrial sector starts to decline in importance.
In my view, that conclusion is forced because Korea is the only curve displayed on the chart that bridged the $15,000 divide. Thus, one can say there exists only one data point supporting this hypothesis.
However, one aspect of this chart jumps out at us, which is the chasm between developed and developing countries, right at the $15,000 divide. On the right side, the rich gets richer in a relatively steady fashion. On the left side, the poor remains poor. These nascent economies suffer from a great deal of volatility. What's worse, the slopes are much sharper on the left than on the right, meaning that the gains in GDP are much smaller on the left of the divide. Even more troubling are the cases of Brazil and Mexico which seemed to have endured a decline in the industrial sector without much gain in GDP.
The only bright spot is Korea. (And China is the outlier.)