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China increases size of economy, no policy change
By Xu Dashan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-21 06:02

China has revised the size of the economy last year, saying gross domestic product (GDP) was 16.8 per cent higher than previously reported mainly because the service sector was not fully taken into account.

Li Deshui, director of the National Bureau of Statistics.
The country raised the GDP in 2004 to 15.99 trillion yuan (US$1.93 trillion) from 13.65 trillion (US$1.64 trillion) based on the results of the country's first nationwide economic census.

The revision lifts China above Italy as the sixth-biggest economy in the world last year. The top five are the United States, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Li Deshui, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, said yesterday that services accounted for 93 per cent of the revision.

The sector's output was revised to 6.5 trillion yuan (US$785 billion) from the previous estimate of 4.4 trillion yuan (US$531.4 billion).

The government will not change its macro-economic policies, he said, adding the previous data basically reflect the overall level and trend of the country's social and economic development.

The government will also not change its foreign-exchange regime just because the country's aggregated size of GDP increased, he said.

After the number-crunching, the ratio of the service sector to GDP in 2004 rose from 31.9 per cent to 40.7 per cent.

The ratio of manufacturing and construction fell to 46.2 per cent from 52.9 per cent; and the share of agriculture shrank to 13.1 per cent from 15.2 per cent.

The economic census helped identify service activities that were not covered before, so the structure of the three sectors is more in tune with the ground reality and in line with the general level of developing countries, Li said.

The government would revise annual GDP growth rates back to 1993 in light of the results from the census, he said.

"Although the aggregated size of China's GDP increased 16.8 per cent, and its economic rankings moved ahead a little, the country still ranks below the top 100 in economic output per person," Li said. "Per capita GDP in China accounted for only about one-fifth of the world's average."
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