XINHUA online
 Breaking News First East Asia Summit opens     Urgent: Syria rejects UN charge of slow cooperation in Hariri probe    Urgent: US Fed raises short-term interest rate to 4.25 percent    Urgent: Tank fires out in London oil depot: fire officials    Urgent: Four US soldiers killed in bombing northwest of Baghdad    Fatah militants attack Palestinian election committee offices    
  About China
  CPC & Other Parties
  State Organs
  Local Leadership
  White Papers
  Major Projects
  English Websites
- Conferences & Exhibitions
- Investment
- Bidding
- Enterprises
- Policy update
- Technological & Economic Development Zones
Source Manufacturers and Suppliers from China and around the world
   News Photos Voice People BizChina Feature About us   
China moves to No.4 in GDP rankings
www.chinaview.cn 2005-12-14 09:02:24

    BEIJING, Dec. 14 -- China is likely to declare itself the world's fourth largest economy next week, having leapfrogged Italy, France and Britain, helped by a likely huge revision of its gross domestic product figures.

    Economists say the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which is due to release part of the results of its first national economic census on Dec. 20, is likely to put a much bigger figure on the size of China's services sector.

    The South China Morning Post, citing unnamed economists, reported on Tuesday that the agency would probably revise GDP by as much as $300 billion, or about 20 percent of 2004 output.

    A revision of that magnitude could catapult China from the world's seventh-largest economy into fourth spot, now occupied by Britain.

    Jim O'Neill, chief global economist at Goldman Sachs in London, said China could attain that status even without such a big revision based on growth rates and currency changes in 2005.

    Not only has China grown far more quickly than Italy, France and Britain this year, but the yuan has risen about 2.5 percent against the dollar, further boosting its output when measured in dollars. The euro and sterling, by contrast, have fallen.

    "China could squeak in ahead of Britain even without a revision," O'Neill said. "It just goes to show how much it's contributing to the world economy."

    Economists said an upward revision of 20 percent, as reported by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, would be in line with their own estimates -- or could even be too modest.

    Chen Xingdong, chief China economist for BNP Paribas Peregrine in Beijing, said he would not be surprised if the NBS revised up its estimate of China's GDP, which totalled $1.65 trillion in 2004, by 15 percent to 20 percent.

    China's number-crunchers have failed to capture the boom in small and medium-sized industrial enterprises, Chen said.

    "We always argue that it has been largely underestimated for a long, long time," he said. "Even a number like 15 percent is not that large for us."


    Dong Tao, chief economist for non-Japan Asia at Credit Suisse First Boston (Hong Kong) Ltd., said China's GDP would still be understated even if it was revised up by $300 billion.

    "There's a massive under-reporting of GDP in the service sector," Tao said.

    He cited the relatively low quality of data collection in China as one reason for that. Economists have long pointed to shortcomings in China's statistics, due to a central planning legacy that put priority on collecting data on the production of physical goods from state-owned enterprises.

    Tao said another reason was that many service enterprises fall through the statisticians' net because they fail to report income for tax reasons.

    "Just take a walk into any restaurant in Shenzhen or Beijing. If you buy a meal without asking for the receipt, for tax reasons these things will not be in China's GDP," he said.

    Still, Tao said that, on CSFB's calculation, China would probably need another year before it could catch up with Britain, whose GDP totalled $2.14 trillion in 2004, according to the World Bank.

    France came fifth in the World Bank's rankings, with 2004 GDP of $2.00 trillion, and Italy sixth, with output of $1.67 trillion. The United States, followed by Japan and Germany, topped the list.

    (Source: China Daily)

  Related Story
Gorgeous moments in old movies
Britain oil depot fire put out
Zhang Ziyi on various magazines
- Return of Japan's asteroid probe postponed
- US scientist questions Korean cloning research
- China moves to No.4 in GDP rankings
- Gold price surge triggers investment craze
- Family planning policy faces challenge from new rich
- Internet hack accusation groundless: China
- China, Russia agree to contain toxic slick
- Former land minister on trial for taking bribes
- Hariri probe could take years: UN inquiry chief
- Australian police to go tough on riots
- UK, US may start withdrawal after Iraqi election: Paper
- Ex-gangster Williams executed with lethal injection
- Most Americans don't buy Bush's "victory plan": poll
- 30,000 civilians killed in Iraq: Bush
- Illegal CIA transfer of individuals evident: investigator
- List of future EU presidencies unveiled
Copyright ©2003 Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.