China’s Deficit in Services Trade Widened in First Nine Months

China’s deficit in its services trade widened in the first nine months of the year, Zhou Liujun, head of the Ministry of Commerce’s services trade bureau, said.

Imports of services, including tourism and financial services, climbed 26.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2011 from a year earlier to $174 billion, while exports rose 10 percent to $134 billion, Zhou said at a briefing in Beijing today. That would leave a deficit of $40 billion, according to calculations based on the data. Zhou didn’t give comparative figures for the deficit beyond saying that it had widened.

China’s trade in services will likely grow 13 percent for the full year to $410 billion, down from an 18.7 percent pace in the first nine months, Zhou said, without giving more details. The increase will lag behind that of the nation’s goods trade. The customs bureau last month estimated 2011 exports will rise 18 percent and imports will climb 21 percent.

China’s deficit in transport in the first nine months was $32.9 billion while the gap in tourism was $19.3 billion, according to commerce ministry data released today.

The government aims to raise the value of its services trade to $600 billion by 2015 from $362 billion last year, the ministry said.

--Zheng Lifei. Editors: Nerys Avery, John Liu

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Zheng Lifei in Beijing at lzheng32@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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