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Service Trade Deficit Down 3.9%
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China realized stable growth in its external service trade last year, with the trade deficit declining, the Ministry of Commerce announced at a press conference on Wednesday in Beijing.

The external service trade volume (excluding government services) amounted to US$191.75 billion in 2006, up 22.1 percent on the previous year.

The trade deficit in services stood at US$8.91 billion, down 3.9 percent from the 2005 level. The lower deficit was due to increases in the country's trade surplus in tourism and computer and information services.

Last year witnessed a rapid expansion of emerging services.

Exports of computer and information services rose 60.8 percent and consulting services were up 47.2 percent, much higher than the average growth of 23.7 percent in China's total service export volume.

Moreover, export value in financial services soared 460 percent to US$890 million, and the growth was due largely to increasing services by securities firms as underwriters for domestic companies to go public overseas.

(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2007)

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