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China service trade deficit rises in December

Updated: Jan 26,2017 2:21 PM     Xinhua

China’s foreign service trade deficit continued to grow last month, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on Jan 26.

The deficit stood at $26.1 billion in December, up from $25.4 billion in November and $20.9 billion in October, SAFE data showed.

Income from trade in services was $26.7 billion, while expenditure totaled $52.8 billion.

In contrast with the huge surplus in goods trade, China’s service trade, although growing rapidly, has had a deficit for years as the service sector is less competitive than global markets.

The government has channeled more energy into the sector and rolled out measures to improve service trade, including gradually opening up the finance, education, culture and medical sectors.

Trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transport, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.

SAFE began releasing monthly data on service trade in January 2014 to improve the transparency of balance of payments statistics. Since the beginning of 2015, it has also included monthly data on merchandise trade in its reports.

In December, China saw a surplus of $43.9 billion in foreign goods trade, down from $45.9 billion in November and $49.9 billion in October.