Page last updated at 07:02 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 08:02 UK

China raises 2007 growth figure

A Chinese man sitting in front of his shop
The statistics office said it underestimated the size of the service sector

China has revised its rate of economic growth for 2007 from 11.4% to 11.9% saying it had underestimated the output from the service sector.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) came in at 24.95 trillion yuan ($3.57 trillion; 1.81 trillion).

The National Bureau of Statistics also raised its measure of 2006 growth from 11.1% to 11.6%.

The figures mean that China is closer to overtaking Germany as the world's third-largest economy.

Germany has yet to release its GDP figures for 2007, but its government forecast is for growth of 2.4%, which would imply GDP of $3.8 trillion.

China's GDP upgrade came on the day that its central bank allowed its currency's exchange rate to pass 7.0 yuan to the US dollar for the first time since it was devalued from 8.7 to 5.8 to the dollar in 1994.

Many other governments have complained that Chinese products are unrealistically cheap in their countries because, they argue, the yuan has been kept too low.

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