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China's current account surplus shows slight narrowing

By Zhou Lanxu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-10 23:13

A bank staff counts RMB and US dollar notes in a bank in Nantong, Jiangsu province on Aug 6, 2019. [Photo/sipaphoto.com]

China's first-quarter international payments remained largely balanced as the country's current account surplus narrowed but stayed within a reasonable range, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, said on Friday.

Preliminary balance of payments data showed that the country's current account registered a surplus of $39.2 billion in the first quarter of the year, equivalent to 0.9 percent of China's GDP for the same period, as opposed to 1.4 percent in 2023, SAFE said.

A current account surplus means that a country earns more from its exports of goods, services and transfers than it spends on imports.

Goods trade surplus came in at $121.1 billion as industrial upgrade boosted new trade growth points, while trade in services registered a deficit of $61 billion amid recovering outbound travels, the administration said.

In capital and financial accounts, SAFE data showed that foreign direct investment recorded a deficit of $27.9 billion in the first quarter, which means Chinese enterprises' overseas investments outnumbered foreign companies' investments in China, while reserve assets increased by $43.4 billion.

Wang Chunying, deputy head of SAFE, said the country saw steady two-way direct investment flows in the first quarter, with the net inbound and outbound equity-based foreign direct investment coming in at $19 billion and $25.7 billion, respectively.

Wang added that China's high-quality development has provided fundamental support for the country's balance of payments.

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