SCIO briefing on national economic performance in H1

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Xing Zhihong, spokesperson and director general of the Department of Comprehensive Statistics, National Bureau of Statistics

Xi Yanchun, vice director-general of the Press Bureau, State Council Information Office

July 17, 2017


Has the recently revised Chinese System of National Accounts (SNA) affected the growth rate in the second quarter and the first half of this year? What was the the contribution of gross capital formation (GCF) as well as imports and exports to economic growth?

Xing Zhihong:

Thank you for your attention to the statistical work. Recently, the State Council has officially approved NBS's proposal to implement the Chinese System of National Accounts 2016 (2016 Chinese SNA). Next, NBS will phase in the system, but the work has not yet been fully started, so it has no impact on the calculation of GDP and its growth rate. In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you about the "2016 Chinese SNA."

SNA is an international standard system of national accounts which helps build up a comprehensive, scientific and systematic picture of economic performance. In the 1990s, China constructed its own national accounting system based on SNA. Over the years, Chinese SNA, in its various released versions, has formed the basis for a real and accurate picture of China's GDP, economic structure and growth rate. In 2009, the U.N. and other four international organizations published the latest version of SNA—"2008 SNA," which has been adopted by many countries.

To promote international comparability and compile national accounts in a more accurate and scientific way, NBS conducted an in-depth study on the"2008 SNA" and constructed the "2016 Chinese SNA" with China's realities taken into consideration. In "2016 Chinese SNA," there are new concepts, revised indexes, expanded accounting areas, more detailed standards and refined accounting methods.

However, to adapt the massive system for our use, we have to take progressive steps. We have adjusted some items. For example, we adjusted the method of accounting for R&D activities last year, and improved it at the local level earlier this year. But there are still many items to be adjusted. In brief, NBS will make continuous efforts to implement the approval of the State Council and make the national accounts more accurate.

As to the contribution of the three major demands of economic growth in the first half of this year, household final consumption expenditure (HFCE) contributed 63.4%; GCF 32.7%; and net exports of goods and services 3.9%. Thank you.

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