January 5, 2018 / 2:47 AM / 8 months ago

China revises 2016 GDP slightly lower, keeps 6.7 percent growth unchanged

BEIJING (Reuters) - China slightly trimmed its final 2016 gross domestic product figure after scaling back an initial estimate of the services sector, but kept the annual GDP growth rate unchanged at 6.7 percent, the statistics bureau said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

The National Bureau of Statistics revised the final 2016 GDP to 74.36 trillion yuan ($11.47 trillion), down 54.2 billion yuan from the preliminary number.

The 2016 growth rate of the world’s second-biggest economy remains unchanged at 6.7 percent, the statistics bureau said in a statement.

Final data from the bureau shows the services sector grew 7.7 percent in 2016 to 38.3 trillion yuan. The sector, which accounts for half of China’s GDP, expanded 7.8 percent in the bureau’s initial estimate to 38.4 trillion yuan.

Branches are pictured in front of buildings in Beijing's central business area, China December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The revisions were mainly due to small cuts in the bureau’s estimates for the size of the financial and tech sectors, which grew 4.5 percent and 18.1 percent in the final numbers, respectively, down from 5.7 percent and 22.2 percent in the earlier data release.

Growth estimates for manufacturing, agriculture, construction and real estate remain unchanged.

China’s 2016 GDP grew at its slowest pace in more than a quarter of a century as the government pushed through painful structural reforms in the economy.

GDP is expected to have expanded 6.8 percent in 2017, exceeding the government’s target of around 6.5 percent. But growth will likely slow to 6.4 percent this year, economists say.

Property investment and construction are expected to lose steam as more cities try to curb surging housing prices, while a government campaign against riskier lending pushes up borrowing costs and a crackdown on pollution hurts some factories.

The government will keep its GDP growth target at “around 6.5 percent” in this year, policy sources told Reuters.

Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes

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