Asia Economy
China revises 2013 GDP up 3.4% to 56.5% of US economy size
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Dec 19, 2014 - 8:41 AM

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China will have more than a half billion smartphone users by the end of December, an official with the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) said on Thursday.

China announced today that it had revised its 2013 economic data, adding 3.4% for a final total of 58.8019tn yuan (about US$9.61tn) - the revision is valued at $308bn and the national statistics office says it puts China's GDP (gross domestic product) at 56.5% of the size of the US economy.

The upward revision, based on more comprehensive data on the manufacturing and service sectors following China's twice-a-decade economic census, will not affect economic growth this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.

This marks an increase of 1.92tn yuan from the previous count.

"The revision of 2013 GDP will affect the size of 2014 GDP, but basically will not affect GDP growth for 2014," NBS said according to Xinhua, the official news agency, adding that it was still revising GDP figures for previous years but the work had not been completed.

Despite impressive growth over the past few decades, China's economy was still 56.5% the size of the United States after the revision, based on average exchange rates in 2013, according to the NBS.

The World Bank said this year that Chinese GDP surpassed the US this year in purchasing-power parity terms, which accounts for varying price levels in different countries.

Its per-capita GDP in 2013 was raised to $6,995s from $6,767, but this was only about two thirds of the world's average level, the bureau said - China is reluctant to be viewed as a rich country.

The tertiary industry, or the service sector, accounted for 46.9% of China's 2013 GDP, up from an initial estimate of 46.1%, while the secondary industry, which included industrial and construction sectors, took up 43.7%, down from previous count of 43.9%. The proportion of primary industry in the GDP was also revised down to 9.4% from 10%.

The NBS said that a cooling manufacturing sector and property downturn dragged China's economic growth to 7.3% in the third quarter this year, down from 7.5% in the second quarter and the government has unveiled a slew of measures to boost growth.

The share of China's service sector businesses among all enterprises is up more than 5% from 2008, signalling an improved economic balancing official data showed on Tuesday.

There were nearly three times more service sector companies than companies in the secondary industry at the end of 2013, according to results of the latest national economic census published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).


The Financial Times says that the System of National Accounts (SNA), endorsed by the UN in 2008 and since adopted by the US, the EU and South Korea, would probably have led to a larger upward revision by including research and development spending as fixed-asset investment and adopting new techniques to capture intangible activities.

China still uses a 1993 standard.

Services, meanwhile, have become the primary generators of GDP and employment growth in the world’s advanced economies. Indeed, as economies develop and per capita incomes rise, it is typical for the service sector to account for an increasing share of GDP. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) finds that over the past 25 years, nearly 85% of GDP growth in high-income developed countries came from services.

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