BEIJING (Reuters) – China is studying new methodologies to assess the economic contribution from industries seen as part of the “new economy”, ranging from biotech firms to online retailers, a deputy head of China’s statistics bureau said in speech published on Sunday.
The rise of some new and high-growth industries has brought challenges to evaluating a country’s economic growth.
Xu Xianchuan said free services provided by internet companies had contributed to the country’s gross domestic product, in comments carried on the Shanghai Securities Journal website.
Such services were underestimated, leading to lower official GDP numbers, he added.
Xu’s comments come as China is due to release second-quarter GDP figures on July 15. The veracity of China’s statistics is frequently called into question by investors.
The government has set a growth target of 6.5-7 percent for 2016, though some analysts believe real growth levels are already much weaker.
(Reporting by Meng Meng and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Stephen Coates)