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Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 08:34 GMT
China lifts annual growth figures
Chinese tradesmen
Growth in China's services sector has been underestimated
China's economy grew faster than previously thought in each of the past six years, according to revised government figures.

Taking into account new data about the services industry, the economy grew a startling 10.1% in 2004, compared to the 9.5% originally estimated.

Growth also surpassed 10% in 2003, updated figures from the National Statistics Bureau revealed.

Government efforts to cool the economy have proved only partially successful.

Decade of growth

Initial forecasts suggest the economy grew 9.8% last year, again faster than expected.

2004: 10.1%
2003: 10%
2002: 9.1%
2001: 8.3%
2000: 8.4%

This came despite a slowdown in government controlled sectors such as construction.

China's growth figures for 11 out of the last 12 years have been revised upwards in light of new census data dating back to 1993.

The only year in which economic growth was not underestimated was 1998.

Based on the new data, China's economy grew by an average of 9.9% between 1993 and 2004.

This further confirms recent reports that China is now the world's six largest economy, ahead of Italy.

Frank Gong, an economist with JP Morgan, told Agence France Presse that the scale of China's services sector was difficult to analyse since so much business was done in cash.

"The latest changes may have captured most of the missing part but some of it may still be there," he said.

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