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China's current account surplus nears $200 billion in 2016

Staff Writer |
China's current account surplus stood at $196.4 billion last year, the country's foreign exchange regulator said.

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The goods-trade surplus declined 14 percent from the 2015 level to 494.1 billion last year, while the service trade posted a deficit of $244.2 billion, up 12 percent year on year, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement.

The current account surplus last year accounted for 1.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product, the regulator said.

The capital and financial account recorded a surplus of $26.3 billion in 2016, with a deficit of $300 million for the capital account and a deficit of 417 billion for the non-reserve financial account, said SAFE.

Reserve assets, most of which are foreign exchange reserves, decreased by $443.7 billion last year.

In the fourth quarter last year, China's current account surplus stood at $11.8 billion, down from $69.3 billion in the third quarter, according to SAFE.

The country will continue to run a current account surplus, as well as a capital and non-reserve financial account deficit in 2017, SAFE said.

The goods-trade surplus will stay at "a certain level," while growth in the service trade deficit is likely to stabilize this year, it said.

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