China Jan FDI up 29.4% to $ 14 b, highest in four years

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 00:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: China drew $ 13.9 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in January, up 29.4% from a year earlier, the highest in nearly four years, the Commerce Ministry said on Monday. But analysts cautioned about reading too much into economic indicators for January alone, given the strong seasonal distortions caused by the timing of the Lunar New Year holidays, which began on 31 January last year but start on 19 February this year. January FDI rose 4.5% from December. Earlier data showed FDI in China rose just 1.7% in 2014, the slackest pace since 2012 and underscoring a cooling economy which is spurring more Chinese firms to plough money into assets overseas in a trend that is soon set to overtake inbound investment. Foreign direct investment is an important gauge of the health of the world economy and is also a good indicator of where capital is flowing within the country. Shen Danyang, the ministry’s spokesman, told reporters that China’s foreign direct investment will be stable for 2015. He added that while the world’s second-largest economy should pay attention to deflationary risks, China has not sunk into a deflationary cycle. In line with China’s manufacturing slowdown, the data showed investors were flocking to the services industry. Foreign direct investment in the services sector hit $ 9.2 billion in January, up 45.1% from a year earlier and accounting for 66% of total FDI. China’s outbound direct investment (ODI) hit $ 10.2 billion in January, up 40.6% from a year earlier, the ministry said. Last year, the world’s second-largest economy drew a record $ 119.6 billion worth of FDI, while ODI surged 14.1% to a new high of $102.9 billion. The Government has been encouraging Chinese firms to invest abroad to help them become more competitive internationally, utilise their surplus capacity, and help slow down the rapid build-up of foreign exchange reserves.