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China maintains even balance of payments in Q1

Updated: May 19, 2023 By Zhou Lanxu Print
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China's first-quarter international payments remained largely balanced, with the country's goods trade surplus staying buoyant while trade in services and foreign direct investment registered a deficit, official data showed on Friday.

The country's current account registered a surplus of $82 billion in the first quarter of the year, equivalent to 2 percent of China's GDP for the same period versus 2.2 percent in 2022, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said on Friday.

Wang Chunying, deputy head and spokeswoman of SAFE, said the first-quarter current account surplus stayed within a reasonable range, underpinned by $129.9 billion in goods trade surplus, the second-highest first-quarter reading on record.

Trade in services, however, reported a deficit of $47 billion, equivalent to about half the deficit seen in 2022. Wang attributed the first-quarter deficit to recovering outbound travel and international shipments.

In capital and financial accounts, foreign direct investment recorded a deficit of $30.2 billion in the first quarter compared with a surplus in 2022, while reserve assets increased by $25.5 billion, SAFE said.

Wang added China's high-quality development has provided fundamental support for the balance of international payments, with an upgrading manufacturing industry nurturing new trade growth points.

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