Foreign direct investment in China fell for the first time since 2009 in November, by nearly 10 percent, as weakness in the U.S. and crisis-stricken Europe takes a growing toll on the country's growth.
The $8.8 billion in foreign investment in November was down 9.8 percent from a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry reported. Foreign investment in October climbed 8.8 percent from the year before.
The number of newly approved foreign ventures in November fell 12.9 percent from a year earlier to 2,718, the ministry said.
Foreign direct investment covers spending on physical assets such as factories and excludes financial assets such as stocks.
Actual investment in January through November rose 13.2 percent to $103.8 billion _ slowing from the 15.9 percent increase seen in January to October, when total foreign direct investment was $95 billion.
Investment from the U.S. has dropped 23 percent this year, as of the end of November, to $2.74 billion, though spending by other regions grew or held steady, the ministry said.
Investment from the European Union edged up 0.3 percent from a year earlier to $5.98 billion while investment from Asia jumped 18 percent to $89.6 billion.
In assessing China's trade situation, ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said weak demand due to Europe's debt crisis means China's exporters will face "very severe" conditions in coming months.
The ministry reported a surge in trade with other emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia. China has said it will focus more on boosting exports to those countries to help offset weakness in the West.
China Ministry of Commerce: http://www.mofcom.gov.cn