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China's foreign service trade deficit widens

CHINA saw its foreign service trade deficit expand in August, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) data Tuesday.

Income from trade in services stood at US$22.8 billion last month, while expenditure was US$48.2 billion, resulting in a deficit of US$25.4 billion.

The deficit was higher than the July total of 22.5 billion dollars and the 19.4 billion June deficit.

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.

China's service trade volume grew from US$362.4 billion in 2010 to US$713 billion in 2015, doubling the average international growth speed in the sector. The country is aiming to increase its service trade volume to over US$1 trillion by 2020.

The State Council has pledged measures to improve the development of services trade, including gradually opening up the finance, education, culture and medical sectors.

SAFE began releasing monthly data on service trade in January 2014, to improve the transparency of balance of payments statistics. Since the beginning of 2015, it has also included monthly data on merchandise trade in its reports.

In August, China saw a surplus of 52.7 billion dollars in foreign merchandise trade, up from 50 billion dollars in July, according to SAFE.


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