New China indicator shows service sector grows 8.2 pct y/y in early 2017 | Reuters


BEIJING, March 14 China’s services sector
expanded 8.2 percent in January-February from a year earlier,
the statistics bureau said on Tuesday, unveiling a new growth
indicator amid the country’s transition from an industrial to
services-led economy.

The pace of service growth in early 2017 is basically the
same as at the start of last year, the National Bureau of
Statistics (NBS) said.

The new monthly indicator measuring services output was
published for the first time as China looks to provide more
insight into a sector that now accounts for more than half of
the economy and most of its growth.

“If you want to look at changes in China’s growth drivers
and economic trends, before you would look at the industrial
sector. Now you look at the services industry,” NBS spokesman
Sheng Laiyun told a news conference.

Publication of the data also shows China has taken “solid
action” to fulfill commitments made at the Strategic and
Economic Dialogue talks between China and the United States last
June, Sheng told Reuters.

Sheng said developing the indicator was difficult because it
is harder to measure China’s services sector than the industrial

“The number of services companies is very large, and many
are small firms, including sole proprietorships. (Many) don’t
have fully developed accounting systems like large firms.”

He also said small companies “can change very rapidly, so it
is relatively difficult to track them.”

Sheng said the new indicator does not cover some parts of
the services industry due to a lack of data.

(Reporting by Elias Glenn; Editing by Richard Borsuk)