Chinese economy booms

Shanghai, January 2:

China’s economy grew 9.8 per cent in 2005, a senior Chinese official was quoted as saying Monday, faster-than-expected after a major revision upwards last month of the size of the economy in 2004.

Ou Xinqian, vice minister of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said final year figure would be up 0.4 per centage points from the organisation’s previous forecast of 9.4 per cent.

“This figure was adjusted according to the newly revised 2004 GDP,” Xinhua quoted Ou as saying, referring to last month’s revision of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) data.

That revision showed the total value of China’s economy at the end of 2004 was in reality 16.8 per cent, or 284 billion dollars, more than previously estimated. The miscalculation, mainly in the service sector, meant China hopped over Italy to become the world’s sixth largest economy with total GDP of more than 1.97 trillion dollars.

The revised 2005 growth figure of 9.8 per cent from Ou is not the final official number, which will be released by National Bureau of Statistics when it reports the annual economic data later this month.

Ou’s forecast adds to an increasingly long list of estimates provided by China’s various government organs charged with economic oversight.

Prior to the official December revision, the central bank — probably the most authoritative of China’s state economic organs — said the economy would grow by more than 9.0 per cent in 2005, with inflation of about 2.0 per cent.