China revises up its 2013 economic size by 3.4%

China has bumped up the size of its economy for 2013 by 3.4 per cent but despite the hike it is not expected to have an impact on economic growth this year.

The revision comes on the back of China’s National Bureau of Statistics taking into account the nation’s latest census results which highlighted that GDP was 58.8 trillion yuan (£6tn) last year.

Capital Economics, China economist, Julian Evans-Pritchard says the relatively small upwards adjustment, compared with previous censuses revisions, will not make a huge difference to how the economy is viewed or to key metrics, such as China’s debt to GDP ratio. However he says it does provide some positive news on rebalancing. 

He says: “The breakdown of the revision shows that the lion’s share of the increase came from the service sector. Its share of GDP increased from 46.1 per cent to 46.9 per cent as a result of the revision. The contribution from industry fell from 43.9 per cent to 43.7 per cent.”

China’s NBS have so far only revised the data for 2013, with re-examinations for the remainder of the historic numbers expected to be released at some point in the future.

“As such we can’t yet calculate the impact of the revisions on GDP growth,” adds Evans-Pritchard.

“However, if past experience is any guide we don’t think recent growth rates will be revised up by more than half a percentage point.”

When the level of GDP in 2008 was revised up by 4.4 per cent following the previous census, growth that year received a boost of 0.6 percentage points.

In a statement accompanying the revisions, the statistics bureau said not to expect the changes to make a material difference to growth this year.

For 2014, the Chinese government has set a economic growth target of 7.5 per cent but it is not expected to hit that level.