Business / Economy

Services industry contributes 54.1% to GDP in first half

By Wang Yanfei (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-16 13:35

The increasing share of the services sector in gross domestic product shows that the transition to a services- and consumption-driven growth model continues to strengthen, the National Bureau of Statistics indicated on Friday.

The country's GDP grew 6.7 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year, still within the government's targeted range of between 6.5 percent and 7 percent for the year.

"The nation's economic restructuring continues to improve and the services sector has been playing a greater part in fuelling growth," said NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun.

Sheng attributed the accelerating development of the services sector to higher demand for services, coupled with the upgrading process of industries. Consumers' higher demand for better services had already become a key element of the economic rebalancing.

"The greater role the services sector has played in the economic growth is quite natural when the economy has entered a state of new normal," Sheng said. New normal means an economic pattern featuring slower but quality growth.

The services sector expanded 7.5 percent in the first half of the year, compared with the same period last year.

That compared with the primary industry that grew 3.1 percent for the same period and the secondary industry, which expanded 6.1 percent in the first half.

The added value by the tertiary sector accounted for 54.1 percent of GDP in the first half, which was 1.8 percentage points higher than the same period of last year, and 14.7 percentage points higher than that of the manufacturing industry, data from NBS showed.

The promising data were in line with that of China's financial sector, where lending to businesses in the service sector "gathered pace" in the first half of this year, said Sheng Songcheng, the head of the surveys and statistics department at the People's Bank of China, the central bank.

By the end of June, outstanding loans in the services sector increased by 12.4 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, data from the central bank showed on Friday.

Niu Li, director of macroeconomics at the State Information Center, said that the expansion of the services sector has become a major growth engine in recent years and will continue to sustain economic growth.

"What we need to be worried about is the overcapacity problems that have yet to be solved, which has made the restructuring process not as smooth sailing as it might have been and might affect the third quarter's economic growth," Niu said.

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