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China's Foreign Service Trade Deficit Narrows

China's foreign service trade deficit narrowed in October while the trade volume dropped, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed.

The deficit stood at $20.9 billion last month, down from $23.3 billion in September and $25.4 billion in August.

Income from trade in services stood at $22.3 billion last month, down from $23 billion in September. Meanwhile, expenditures totaled $43.2 billion, less than September's $46.3 billion.

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

China's service trade volume grew from $362.4 billion in 2010 to $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 $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 October, China saw a surplus of $49.9 billion in foreign merchandise trade, up from $44 billion in September, according to SAFE.

(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2016)

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