The economy is 17 percent larger and growing faster than previous estimates, according to a year-long census released in Beijing today that revealed millions of previously unaccounted- for businesses. The findings may vault China three places on the list of the world's largest economies, to No. 4, ahead of the U.K.
Service companies in areas such as retailing, real estate and insurance accounted for 93 percent of the additional output uncovered by the census.
The services industry accounted for 40.7 percent of gross domestic product last year, up from 31.9 percent previously, the government said. That still leaves China trailing countries such as Russia and South Africa, where services make up more than 60 percent of output.
Free Market Reforms
Services ``have been growing much faster than the rest of the economy,'' said Ha Jiming, chief economist at China International Capital Corp., China's largest investment bank. ``This all argues for higher growth this year and for the next few years.''
The share of primary industry, which is mostly agriculture, fell to 13.1 percent of GDP from 15.2 percent, today's release said. Secondary industry, mostly manufacturing and construction, declined to 46.2 percent from 52.9 percent.