The flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into China slowed in November, totaling US$3.75bn for the month, up just 7% on a year earlier and a significant downturn from October when FDI grew by 50% on the 2003 figure. Overall, according to the latest government figures, FDI grew 22% in real terms in the first 11 months of 2004. Actual FDI stood at US$57.553bn while the total for contracted FDI, an indication of future investment, reached US$135.038bn, a growth of 34.36%. In the same period China approved a total of 39,291 new overseas-invested companies, up 7.31% on the same period last year. That brings the total number of foreign invested firms in operation in China to more than 250,000, including 450 of the world's top 500 companies.