GDP revised upward due to service sector surge

The mainland's first-quarter gross domestic product growth has been revised to 10.3 per cent from 10.2 per cent, with the service sector expanding faster than previously thought, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

The revision is further evidence showing the strength of the red-hot economy, with one leading mainland economist forecasting that GDP growth could hit 10.5 per cent in the second quarter.

The central government is moving to curb lending as credit growth and a surge in capital spending propelled the economy to expand faster than expected, after the bureau made its first announcement on economic performance in the quarter on April 20.

Peking University economist Song Guoqing said he expected year-on-year GDP growth would be above 10 per cent this year despite the government's efforts to rein in the economy.

'Inflating production capacity and robust growth in capital investment will propel a strong growth in GDP,' said Professor Song. He predicted GDP would rise to 10.5 per cent in the second quarter, fuelled by fixed-asset investment growth.

First-quarter GDP was 4.44 trillion yuan, 7.7 billion yuan higher than the initial figure, the bureau said on its website.

Value-added primary industry production rose by 4.5 per cent year on year to reach 324.2 billion, 4.2 billion yuan more than the original figure. The manufacturing industry rose by 12.5 per cent in the same period to reach 2.16 trillion yuan, 100 million yuan less than the original figure. The services industries rose 8.9 per cent, 0.2 percentage points faster than the original figure, to reach 1.85 trillion yuan, or 3.6 billion yuan more than the original figure, it said.

Beijing has targeted economic growth of 8 per cent this year. Many economists expect a higher growth rate for the world's fastest-growing major economy, based on faster-than-expected first-quarter growth in key indicators.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a top government think-tank, forecast GDP growth at 9.6 per cent this year, while the State Information Centre tipped 9.8 per cent growth in the second quarter.