China Revises Down 2014 GDP Growth While 2015 Target Under Risk

  • Revision stems mainly from slower services sector growth
  • No major impact on 2015 GDP target seen by Standard Chartered

China’s economy last year expanded more slowly than first announced, underscoring a deepening economic slowdown that’s threatening to put this year’s growth target of about 7 percent out of reach.

Gross domestic product growth for 2014 was revised lower by 0.1 percentage point to 7.3 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on Monday. The revision stemmed from slower services industry growth of 7.8 percent last year, down from an initially reported 8.1 percent.

A stock market rout and sudden yuan devaluation last month helped spur a global equities sell off. Officials from Premier Li Keqiang and Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan have telegraphed confidence in the economy’s underlying solidity, talking up stocks and the currency in recent weeks.

"The magnitude of the revision is minor," said Shuang Ding, chief China economist at Standard Chartered Plc in Hong Kong. "People may think it creates a low base for comparison, but if the revision is due to improvement of methodology that captures service activity better, it would affect 2014 as well as 2015 and thereafter.”

That means there will be no major impact on prospects for the 2015 growth target, he said.

— With assistance by Xin Zhou

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