BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- China's service trade deficit continued to rise for the fourth month in February, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed Tuesday.
The deficit stood at 27.3 billion U.S. dollars last month, up from 21.8 billion U.S. dollars in January, the SAFE data showed.
Income from trade in services was about 15.9 billion U.S. dollars, while expenditures totaled around 43.2 billion U.S. dollars.
In contrast to 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 has taken steps to improve the development of trade in services, including gradually opening up the finance, education, culture, and medical treatment sectors.
SAFE began issuing monthly data on service trade in January 2014 to improve the transparency of balance of payments statistics. Since the start of 2015, it has also included monthly data on merchandise trade in its reports.
Last month, China saw a surplus of 34.4 billion U.S. dollars in foreign merchandise trade.