BEIJING — China continued to see a current account deficit in the first half of 2018 mainly due to the strong domestic need for overseas services.
The deficit in the current account stood at $28.3 billion in the January-June period, down from $34.1 billion in the first quarter, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on Aug 6 in an online statement.
China’s service trade posted a deficit of $147.3 billion, up from $73.6 billion three months earlier. The spending on trips, transport, and intellectual property rights contributed to the bulk of the deficit.
China has taken steps to improve its trade in services, including gradually opening up its finance, education, culture, and medical sectors.
SAFE said China’s international balance of payments was within a range of equilibrium last quarter and will continue to remain reasonable in the future.
China saw a goods trade surplus of $155.9 billion in H1.
The data also showed stable cross-border capital inflows in the second quarter. China’s financial account maintained net inflows, with a surplus of $18.2 billion. Net foreign direct investment stood high at $58.6 billion.