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China revises up economy size by 16.8%
Updated: 2005-12-20 11:05

China revised up the size of its economy by 16.8 percent on Tuesday, as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced the main findings of its first nationwide economic census.

The NBS said that it now estimated gross domestic product in 2004 totalled 15.99 trillion yuan, an increase of 2.3 trillion yuan or 16.8 percent. Previously it had put GDP at 13.65 trillion yuan.

The revision was largely the result of better collection of data for the services sector and small enterprises, whose activity has been under-reported until now.

The tertiary, or services, sector accounted for 93 percent of the revision and now made up 40.7 percent of the economy instead of 31.9 percent previously, the NBS said.

The share of the secondary, or industry, sector in GDP fell to 46.2 percent from 52.9 percent and that of the primary, or agricultural, sector, to 13.1 percent from 15.2 percent.

At the exchange rate of 8.2765 yuan per dollar that obtained at the end of 2004, China had a dollar GDP of US$1.93 trillion last year.

According to World Bank rankings, that would have lifted China above Italy into sixth place in the world economic rankings.

Based on exchange rate trends and relative growth rates in 2005, economists calculate that China by now has risen to fourth place, ahead of France and Britain, and is now dwarfed only by the United States, Japan and Germany.

Nearly 10 million census takers fanned out across China to get a comprehensive picture of the economy. The NBS said it would be revising annual GDP growth rates back to 1993.

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