The economy of China is much bigger and less dependent on exports than previously reported, according to Chinese officials issuing new data that analysts say make its rapidly expanding growth look easier to sustain and could encourage more foreign investment. This new government survey boosted its official output for 2004 by 16.8 percent by taking into account new service businesses. The services’ share of the economy rose sharply, while that of manufacturing fell.
China’s mainland has replaced Italy as the world’s 6th-largest economy, trailing Britain and France. If China added Hong Kong into the mix, it would jump to No. 4, behind only the United States. Hong Kong reports its economic figures separately.
China’s rates of exports and investment are smaller as a percentage of the total economy, possibly easing fears that they were unsustainably high, according to analysts. The figures were released by the National Bureau of Statistics, which said it surveyed 30 million businesses, including restaurants, karaoke bars and others in the booming service industries.
This latest data put China’s 2004 GDP, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, at nearly 16 trillion Yuan ($2 trillion), which was up 2.3 trillion Yuan ($285 billion) from numbers previously reported.