July 14, 2017 / 8:29 AM / in 6 days

China revises GDP calculation method to add healthcare, 'new economy'

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FILE PHOTO - Injectable drugs are pictured inside an injection room at a hospital in Shanghai May 4, 2014.Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's statistics bureau said on Friday that it has revised the way it calculates the country's gross domestic product by including contributions from healthcare, tourism and "new economy".

On Monday, the government is announcing second-quarter GDP data, and it was not clear if the new method would have any impact on that data.

The National Bureau of Statistics said the new method will take effect "from now on". It said full implementation is expected to be a "gradual process", as some proposed changes have not yet met the conditions to materialize, such as measures to reflect the development of non-profit organizations.

The revision aims to accommodate "new changes" in China's economic activity and better align its calculation method with international standards, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a Q&A published on its website.

The last time China revised its GDP calculation method was in 2002.

Some changes in calculations as part of the new framework have been announced previously. In 2016, China decided to add research and development spending to its gross domestic product figures.

This move increased the total of 2015 GDP by 1.3 percent to 68.55 trillion yuan ($10.3 trillion), but that year's growth rate was only marginally amended and basically remained 6.9 percent.

China's economic growth for 2017 is expected to be on a slowing trajectory to 6.6 percent, a Reuters poll showed, down from the 6.7 percent reported for 2016 - the slowest pace in 26 years.

For the first quarter, China reported surprisingly solid 6.9 percent annual growth, buoyed by a gravity-defying property boom and higher government infrastructure spending which helped boost industrial output by the most in over two years.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Yawen Chen; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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