Business / Economy

China's economic structure improves with robust services

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-01-19 17:04

BEIJING - China's economic restructuring made landmark progress in 2015 as the service sector created more than half of GDP for the first time ever, official data showed Tuesday.

The service sector contributed 50.5 percent to the country's GDP in 2015, up from 48.1 percent in 2014, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The percentage, which has continued to grow over the last two decades,exceeded 50 percent for the first time, while factories' contribution to GDP was 40.5 percent, as the government tried to shift from investment-powered growth to cleaner and more sustainable expansion.

The value added in the service sector increased 8.3 percent year on year to 34.2 trillion yuan ($5.3 trillion), while growth was 3.9 percent for the primary sector and 6 percent for the secondary.

End-user consumption accounted for 66.4 percent of China's full-year GDP of 67.7 trillion yuan, which expanded 6.9 percent in 2015.

"China's economic structure continued to improve last year," said NBS director Wang Baoan at a news conference.

"Rising contributions from the service sector to GDP are a natural consequence of a country's economic development after entering the late stage of industrialization," said Wang, who also stressed government efforts during the process.

Chinese leaders hope the service sector will replace polluting and energy-intensive industries to become a new economic engine, and they have made repeated pledges to give the sector a leg up.

In a government work report last March, Premier Li Keqiang said China will accelerate the development of the service sector, which, with its growth potential, could create a huge number of jobs.

Support to service sectors through fiscal, taxation, land and price policies must be implemented to stimulate the development of tourism, health care, elder care and design, said Li.

As part of the government efforts, China opened up its service sector wider to overseas investors last year by relaxing a number of investment restrictions.

President Xi Jinping reiterated the importance of the service sector at a symposium attended by ministers and provincial officials on Monday.

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