Foreign investment in China falls in February

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Foreign investment in China falls in February

Foreign direct investment in China fell in February for the fourth straight month as key Western economies continue to struggle, official figures showed Thursday.

Beijing The financial district of Beijing is shown in December 2011. Photo: AFP

Foreign direct investment in China fell in February for the fourth straight month as key Western economies continue to struggle, official figures showed Thursday.

Investment from overseas companies fell 0.9 percent in February from a year earlier to US$7.73 billion, the commerce ministry said, compared with $10 billion in January.

In the first two months of the year, inward investment fell 0.56 percent year-on-year to $17.72 billion.

Investment from the European Union, which is grappling with a sovereign debt crisis, fell 33.32 percent on year to $906 million in the first two months, although US firms invested $525 million in the same period, up 0.87 percent.

Europe and the United States are key trade partners of China and weakness in their economies has been hurting the Asian powerhouse, which relies heavily on exports and investment to drive its economy.

China swung to a huge trade deficit of $31.48 billion in February as the West's economic troubles hurt demand for Chinese-made products.

But commerce ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said on Thursday that exports were typically weaker in the first few months of the year and China would return to a surplus soon.

"Our judgement is that the trade deficit is unlikely to continue," Shen said.

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