BEIJING, March 24 -- China's foreign trade in services saw a deficit of 58.5 billion yuan (9.6 billion U.S. dollars) in February, official data showed on Monday.
The figure was down from a deficit of 81.4 billion yuan in January, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement.
China's income from trade in services stood at 94 billion yuan last month, while expenditure in service trade reached 152.5 billion yuan, according to the statement.
The SAFE started to issue monthly data on trade in services in January to improve the transparency of balance of payments statistics.
Although China overtook the United States to become the world's largest goods trader for the first time in 2013 and boasted a hefty surplus in trade of goods, a large deficit can be seen in its service trade.
Data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that service trade deficit reached 118.46 billion dollars last year, up from 89.7 billion dollars in 2012 and 54.92 billion dollars in 2011.