Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China grew 7.09 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2013, official data showed Friday, citing optimism towards the domestic economy among foreign investors. Incoming FDI, which excludes financial sectors, jumped to $71.4 billion for the January-July period, China\'s commerce ministry said in a statement. For July alone, the figure surged 24.13 percent year-on-year to $9.4 billion, following a 20.12 percent growth in June when FDI to China reached $14.4 billion. \"This reflected the actual situation that foreign merchants were upbeat on investment environment in China,\" ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said. \"But it doesn\'t necessarily mean that foreign investment will maintain such rapid growth in the next few months,\" he added. The ministry said investment from the European Union and United States maintained relatively fast growth in the first seven months. From January through July, EU investment into China jumped 16.72 on year percent to $4.6 billion, while US investment expanded 11.44 percent from a year earlier to $2.2 billion. Investment from a group of 10 Asian countries and regions including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore climbed 7.74 percent on year to $61.7 billion in the seven months to July, also a major contributor to overall growth. The commerce ministry also announced a 20 percent year-on-year growth in outbound investment for the January-July period, with Chinese firms investing a total $50.6 billion in more than 3,000 overseas non-financial firms. Investment into the US surged 278 percent from a year earlier, while investment into Japan fell 11.5 percent on year over the seven months. China\'s economy, the world\'s second largest, expanded 7.8 percent in 2012, its slowest pace in 13 years. Growth slipped to 7.7 percent in the first quarter this year and slowed further to 7.5 percent in the second quarter, but the latest economic data pointed to renewed strength in the economy.