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China revises up nominal 2018 GDP, says won't impact 2019 growth calculation

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By Reuters
China revises up nominal 2018 GDP, says won't impact 2019 growth calculation
FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China July 11, 2019. Picture taken July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer   -   Copyright  CHINA STRINGER NETWORK(Reuters)

BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Friday revised up its nominal 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) by 2.1% to 91.93 trillion yuan (10.12 trillion pounds), keeping it on track to achieving its goal of doubling the size of its economy by 2020 from 2010.

The revisions showed that the services sector contributed more to GDP in 2018 than the original data had indicated, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.

The change in the size of 2018 GDP will not significantly influence the calculation for the 2019 growth rate, the statistics bureau said.

The world’s second-biggest economy is growing at its slowest pace in almost three decades, pressured in part by a trade war with the United States.

China routinely revises its annual GDP data. Days before GDP data for 2018 was released in January, the statistics bureau cut its final 2017 growth figure to 6.8% from 6.9%.

China’s fourth National Economic Census, released on Wednesday, included “richer” data points that showed more business entities and a bigger total asset base in 2018 than assumed under earlier GDP estimates, Li Xiaochao, deputy head of the statistics bureau, told Reuters earlier this week.

Revisions to historical GDP figures will also be made, Li told reporters.

The government’s target range for 2019 growth is 6%-6.5%. The economy expanded 6.4% in the first quarter, 6.2% in the second and 6.0% in the third – the weakest pace since 1992.

Growth of about 6.2% is seen needed for the whole of this year and the next to meet the Communist Party’s longstanding goal of doubling GDP and incomes in the decade to 2020.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Kim Coghill & Shri Navaratnam)