Beijing, January 9:

China announced today a further revision of economic data following a major upgrade last month, with the new figures showing the booming country grew even faster than first thought in 2003 and 2004.

After last month’s statement that the size of China’s economy had been underestimated by 17 per cent or $284 billion in 2004, the National Bureau of Statistics revised up gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2004 from 9.5 per cent to 10.1 per cent. Growth in 2003 was also revised to 10 per cent, up from 9.5 per cent.

Between 1993 and 2004, China’s economy expanded at an average rate of 9.9 per cent, up from the 9.4 per cent given in previously reported figures. Last month, the government said that after a new survey, China’s economy was worth nearly $1.98 trillion in 2004.

That revision was largely due to earlier miscalculations in the size of the service and private sectors, which had traditionally been seen as ‘grey areas’ in China’s statistics gathering methods.

Those new official numbers lifted China past Italy to become the world’s sixth largest economy, with the 2005 figures due out this month tipped to catapult the Asian giant to fourth on the list. The data reflected a revision of Ch-ina’s GDP statistics back to 19-93, the last time an economic census on the service industry was taken, the NBS said.

BoC gets nod for flotation

HONG KONG: China has given the green light for Bank of China (BoC) to launch its long-awaited flotation in Hong Kong, a report said claiming such a move would raise some eight billion dollars. BOC, China’s second largest bank by assets, is expected to list as early as May after China’s State Council, or cabinet, gave approval to the move, the South China Morning Post reported. Approval still needs to be granted by China’s Securities Regulatory Commission. — AFP