China revises up size of 2013 economy, sees no effect on 2014 growth

Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:54am EST
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By Kevin Yao

BEIJING (Reuters) - China revised up the size of its economy in 2013 but sees that having little effect on economic growth this year, amid expectations that Beijing may roll out more stimulus to support the slowing economy.

Gross domestic product was up 3.4 percent to an estimated 58.8 trillion yuan ($9.5 trillion) in 2013, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday, following a new economic census.

That marks a rise of 1.9 trillion yuan, or $305 billion, in the size of the Chinese economy that year, slightly below the entire gross domestic product of Malaysia during the same period, according to World Bank statistics.

The upward revision of GDP, which reflected greater contribution from the services sector that may create more jobs as factories struggle, will do little to ease pressures on the government to support the slowing economy, analysts say.

"The economy still faces downward pressure and the government is likely to lower its growth target for 2015," said Tang Jianwei, an economist at Bank of Communications who expected the government to maintain policy stimulus next year.

Services accounted for 46.9 percent of 2013 GDP, up from an initial estimate of 46.1 percent, while the secondary sector - which includes manufacturing and construction - accounted for 43.7 pct of GDP, down from 43.9 pct.

The third economic census, which was published earlier this week, showed that the services sector had expanded at a faster clip than the manufacturing sector between 2009 and 2013.

The statistics bureau said it was still revising the historical GDP data series, which could show revised economic growth for 2013 and previous years.   Continued...

Labourers work at a construction site for a new building in Beijing December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon