Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China fell for the sixth consecutive month in April, official figures showed Tuesday, dragged down by a plunge in fund flows from crisis-struck Europe. Investment from overseas fell 0.7 percent from a year earlier to $8.4 billion, the commerce ministry said. Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang blamed the decline on economic woes in Europe — China’s key trading partner — and on rising costs in the world’s second-largest economy. “The continual negative growth of China’s FDI has to do with factors at home and abroad,” he said. “Globally, the growth of world economy is weak on the whole, greatly affecting global direct investment. And domestically, with the increase in costs, our operating cost advantage has weakened,” he said. “Nevertheless, we remain generally optimistic toward China’s FDI prospects.” In the first four months of the year, FDI reached $37.9 billion, down 2.4 percent from the same period in 2011. Investment from the European Union, in the throes of a major sovereign debt crisis, tumbled 27.9 percent on year to $1.9 billion in from January to April. However, Tuesday’s figures showed investment from the United States rising 1.9 percent in the first four months to reach $1.05 billion.