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China revises GDP calculation method to add health care, 'new economy'

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China's statistics bureau said on Friday that it has revised the way it calculates the country's gross domestic product by including contributions from health care, tourism and "new economy".

[BEIJING] China's statistics bureau said on Friday that it has revised the way it calculates the country's gross domestic product by including contributions from health care, tourism and "new economy".

On Monday, the government is announcing second-quarter GDP data, and it was not clear if the new method would have any impact on that data.

The National Bureau of Statistics said the new method will take effect "from now on".

It said full implementation is expected to be a "gradual process", as some proposed changes have not yet met the conditions to materialise, such as measures to reflect the development of non-profit organisations.

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The revision aims to accommodate "new changes" in China's economic activity and better align its calculation method with international standards, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a Q&A published on its website.

The last time China revised its GDP calculation method was in 2002.

Some changes in calculations as part of the new framework have been announced previously. In 2016, China decided to add research and development spending to its gross domestic product figures.

This move increased the total of 2015 GDP by 1.3 per cent to 68.55 trillion yuan (S$13.913 trillion), but that year's growth rate was only marginally amended and basically remained 6.9 per cent.

China's economic growth for 2017 is expected to be on a slowing trajectory to 6.6 percent, a Reuters poll showed, down from the 6.7 per cent reported for 2016 - the slowest pace in 26 years.

For the first quarter, China reported surprisingly solid 6.9 per cent annual growth, buoyed by a gravity-defying property boom and higher government infrastructure spending which helped boost industrial output by the most in over two years.

REUTERS

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