Wed, January 14, 2009
Business > Economy

China revises 2007 growth from 11.9% to 13%

2009-01-14 09:46:54 GMT2009-01-14 17:46:54 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

An employee works along the assembly line at Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. in Hefei, Anhui province January 14, 2009. China on Wednesday revised up the country's gross domestic product growth for 2007 to 13.0 percent from 11.9 percent, leapfrogging Germany in the process to become the world's third-largest economy. [Agencies]

A Chinese man on his bicycle passes a construction building at a pedestrian bridge in Beijing, China, Jan. 5, 2009. China on Wednesday revised up the country's gross domestic product growth for 2007 to 13.0 percent from 11.9 percent. [Agencies]

China on Wednesday revised up the country's gross domestic product growth for 2007 to 13.0 percent from the previously reported 11.9 percent.

Gross domestic product in 2007 rose 13% to 25.731 trillion yuan ($3.764 trillion), the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on its website.

The revision increased China's 2007 GDP by 777.6 billion yuan from the previous estimate of 24.953 trillion yuan given in April, which at the time reflected an annual growth rate of 11.9%.

The revised rate was the fastest since 1993, when the economy expanded 13.5 percent.

The revision comes ahead of the next week's release of 2008 GDP data, and economists said a high comparison base may mean 2008 growth figures could be lower than previously predicted.

The statistics office had already updated its estimate of 2007 growth last April from an initial reading of 11.4 percent. In a statement on its website, it said this second revision would be the final one.

The updated 2007 figures suggested that China has surpassed Germany to become the world's third-largest economy, after the United States and Japan.

Using the World Bank's official estimates of the size of economies, China was already snapping at Germany's heels before Wednesday's revision.

The World Bank uses Gross National Income (GNI) converted to dollars using the Atlas method, which takes a three-year moving average for the exchange rate.

China now estimates that the total value of goods and services in 2007 was 3.1 percent higher than previously thought.

Applying this increase to the World Bank's published rankings gives China a GNI of $3.218 trillion for 2007 compared with $3.197 trillion for Germany, a modest lead, but one that will have widened considerably in 2008.

GNI takes into account all production in the domestic economy plus net flows of income from abroad such as profits and wages.

China might have a big economy, but it is still a relatively poor country. On the Atlas methodology, the United States had income per head of $46,040 in 2007, while China's was just $2,360 with an estimated population of 1.3 billion.

Before the latest revisions, the World Bank put it in 132nd place in its global income tables per capita.

Taking account of Wednesday's revision leaves China slightly better off than Cape Verde but poorer than Guatemala.

The World Bank argues that measuring the value of output using purchasing power parity, rather than market exchange rates, provides a better measure of relative standards of living.

By this yardstick, too, China is still poor, with per capita income in 2007, prior to the latest revisions, of $5,370 compared with $45,850 in the United States.

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