BEIJING, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's service trade deficit rose 26.6 percent year on year in the first six months of the year to 896.96 billion yuan (about 132 billion U.S. dollars), official data showed Friday.
The Ministry of Commerce said the deficit came mainly from tourism, transport and intellectual property rights, while consulting and information service sectors saw a surplus.
Exports of services rose 5.6 percent to 695.09 billion yuan, and imports jumped 16.5 percent to 1.59 trillion yuan in the first six months.
"In the second half year, the growth of exports may still be lower than imports, resulting in a larger service trade deficit," said Xian Guoyi, head of the service trade department at the ministry.
"However, the expansion of imports could help improve people's lives and upgrade domestic consumption. Therefore, we should have a correct attitude towards larger service trade deficit," said Xian.
The gross value of service trade in the first half of the year stood at 2.29 trillion yuan, up 12.9 percent year on year.
Service trade in June surged 29.7 percent year on year, the fastest pace in 18 months.
In June, income from trade in services was 124.2 billion yuan, while expenditure totaled 324.9 billion yuan, generating a monthly deficit of more than 200 billion yuan.
China regularly registers a deficit in service trade as its service sector is less competitive than a number of economies.
The government has channeled more energy into the sector and rolled out measures to improve it, including gradually opening up the finance, education, culture and medical sectors.