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China continues to see deficit in foreign service trade

Updated: Mar 31,2015 6:39 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China continued to see a deficit in foreign service trade in February, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed on March 31.

The country’s service trade deficit reached 76.7 billion yuan ($12.5 billion) in February, narrowing from 103.7 billion yuan in January, according to the SAFE.

Last month, the country spent a total of 175.5 billion yuan in international service trade, nearly double the 98.8 billion yuan it made during the period.

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

The State Council has pledged a string of measures to accelerate the development of trade in services, including gradually opening up business in finance, education, culture and medical treatment.

The SAFE began issuing monthly data on service trade in January 2014 to improve the transparency of balance of payments statistics. Beginning in 2015, it added monthly data on merchandise trade to the report.

In February, China saw a surplus of 365.9 billion yuan in foreign merchandise trade, data showed.