BEIJING — China saw a current account deficit in the first quarter of 2018 due to seasonal factors and rapid growth in goods imports.
The deficit in the current account stood at $28.2 billion in the first three months, in contrast with a $18.4 billion surplus in the same period a year ago, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in an online statement.
China’s service trade posted a deficit of $76.2 billion, up from around $60 billion a year earlier.
The goods trade saw a 35-percent decline in surplus, with imports up 21 percent year-on-year and exports up 11 percent.
“Faster imports growth pushed China’s goods trade to a more balanced level,” SAFE said, adding that the current account balance would stay in a reasonable range.
As a major global consumer market, China has been striving to boost imports and improve its trade structure, rolling out measures to simplify customs procedures and include more products in its tariff-reduction list.
SAFE data also showed cross-border capital inflows from the January-March period. The financial account has maintained net inflows from the second quarter last year, with a surplus of $54.5 billion. Foreign direct investment more than doubled to $68.2 billion.