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China service trade deficit rises in March

Updated: Apr 27,2017 8:25 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s foreign service trade deficit continued to grow last month, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on April 27.

The deficit stood at 152.3 billion yuan ($22 billion) in March, up from $17.6 billion in February, SAFE data showed.

Income from trade in services was 117.8 billion yuan, while expenditure totaled 270.1 billion yuan.

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

China regularly holds a deficit in service trade as its service sector is less competitive than a number of other economies.

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.

In contrast with the deficit in service trade, China’s foreign goods trade ran a surplus of 210.6 billion yuan ($30.6 billion) in March, compared with a deficit of $4.8 billion in goods trade in February.

In total, China’s foreign service and goods trade held a surplus of 58.3 billion yuan in March, compared with a deficit of 154.2 billion yuan in February.