BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign service trade deficit continued to grow last month, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said Thursday.
The deficit stood at 26.1 billion U.S. dollars in December, up from 25.4 billion dollars in November and 20.9 billion dollars in October, SAFE data showed.
Income from trade in services was 26.7 billion U.S. dollars, while expenditure totaled 52.8 billion dollars.
In contrast with the huge surplus in goods trade, China's service trade, although growing rapidly, has had a deficit for years as the service sector is less competitive than global markets.
The government has channeled more energy into the sector and rolled out measures to improve service trade, including gradually opening up the finance, education, culture and medical sectors.
Trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transport, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.
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 December, China saw a surplus of 43.9 billion dollars in foreign goods trade, down from 45.9 billion dollars in November and 49.9 billion dollars in October.