Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China fell for the sixth month in a row in March, although the rate of decline was narrower than in February, Bloomberg reported. FDI totaled US$8.5 billion in March, down 9.5% year-on-year, compared to a 15.8% year-on-year contraction the previous month. For the first quarter as a whole, investment fell 20.6% to US$21.8 billion as foreign companies scale back operations in response to the global economic crisis. Ministry of Commerce spokesman Yao Jian said the decline was partly due to foreign governments rolling out stimulus packages that promote investment at home over that abroad. He said ensuring the healthy growth of foreign companies is key to government efforts to stabilize exports, promote job creation and expand consumption, he added. Foreign-invested businesses account for 30% of China’s industrial output, 55% of trade and 11% of urban jobs.