BEIJING — China continued to see a deficit in foreign service trade in December and the volume has continued to rise, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed on Jan 31.
Income from trade in services stood at $22.3 billion last month, while expenditure was $43 billion, resulting in a deficit of $20.6 billion.
The deficit rose from the $18.4 billion seen a month earlier.
In contrast to merchandise trade, trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transportation, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing, and accounting.
The State Council has pledged measures to improve the development of trade in services, including gradually opening up the finance, education, culture, and medical treatment sectors.
Earlier this month, China launched an investment fund of 30 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) to guide the development of the service trade industry.
The government-led fund is aimed at facilitating the transformation of China’s foreign trade patterns and fostering new growth momentum for the economy.
SAFE began issuing monthly data on the service trade in January 2014 to improve the transparency of balance of payments statistics. Since the start of 2015, it has also included monthly data on merchandise trade in its reports.
Last month, China saw a surplus of $52.2 billion in foreign merchandise trade.