China's foreign service trade reached 149.54 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter, up 10.6 percent from the same period last year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Friday.
In contrast, the merchandise trade dropped 6.3 percent year on year in the first quarter, said MOC spokesperson Shen Danyang at a press conference.
For the first three months, the aggregate foreign service trade deficit totaled 39.66 billion U.S. dollars, with 54.94 billion U.S. dollars in revenues, up 10.5 percent year on year, and 94.6 billion U.S. dollars in spending, an increase of 10.6 percent year on year.
For the whole of 2014, China's aggregate service trade deficit totaled 1.216 trillion yuan (199.07 billion U.S. dollars). China started to issue monthly data on services trade in January 2014 to improve the transparency of balance of payments statistics.
Distinct from merchandise trade, trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transport, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accountancy.
In the first quarter, foreign trade service in tourism reached 49.31 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 33 percent and the largest share of total trade volume in services.