China’s current-account surplus more than halved in the first quarter as slower global economic growth dampened the country’s exports, The Wall Street Journal reported. The country posted a surplus of US$24.7 billion in the quarter, down from US$60.5 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, according to data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. Exports grew 7.6% year-on-year in the first quarter, a dramatic slowdown from annual growth of 20.3% in the full-year 2011. China’s capital and financial account swung to a US$49.9 billion surplus in the first quarter from a deficit of US$29 billion in the previous quarter, indicating that foreign direct investment is continuing to flow into the country, albeit at a slower pace. Analysts said that Beijing is likely to point to the falling current-account surplus as progress in rebalancing the economy away from export-driven growth.
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