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Nov. 21, 2019, 11:02 p.m. EST

China raises its 2018 GDP estimate by 2.1%

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By MarketWatch

BEIJING--China raised its estimate for last year's gross domestic product by 2.1%, putting the size of the world's second-largest economy at 91.928 trillion yuan ($13.078 trillion).

The revision of its nominal GDP, based on the results of the latest national economic census, won't have any notable impact on the growth rate for 2019, as the increase is smaller than previous revisions, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.

China's GDP was raised by 16.8%, 4.4% and 3.4%, respectively, following the previous three national economic censuses, the statistics bureau said.

The bureau said it is still revising the historical data, which would be announced separately.

Without revised historical data as a reference, the government will likely still set an economic-growth target of about 6% for next year, following an expected 6.2% expansion in 2019, said Hunter Chan, an economist at Standard Chartered.

China's economy will have to expand by at least 6.1% in 2020 to achieve the goal of doubling its GDP from the 2010 level, Mr. Chan said.

The Chinese economy grew 6.6% in 2018, its slowest pace in nearly three decades. The economy, which is growing at a rate a little above 6%, will probably face more headwinds next year. It is expected to expand 5.8% in 2020, according to a recently revised forecast by the International Monetary Fund.

Beijing's recent efforts to accelerate local government bond issuance and cut interest rates should start "providing support for the economy next year," Mr. Chan said.

--Liyan Qi

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