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Foreign direct investment in China rises marginally in May

BEIJING -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China rose marginally in May from the same month last year, official figures showed Friday, halting a six-month slide.

Overseas investment rose a mere 0.05 percent in May from a year earlier to around US$9.2 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website.

But foreign investment for the first five months of the year still fell 1.91 percent from the same period last year to around US$47.1 billion, it said.

FDI had fallen for six consecutive months to April, dragged down by a plunge in fund flows from crisis-struck Europe.

Officials have blamed the decline on economic woes in the United States and Europe, both key trading partners, and on rising costs in the world's second-largest economy.

The ministry statement gave no breakdown of foreign investment by country and region for May.

Other economic data for May indicated a slowdown in the economy, though easing of inflation to 3 percent gave Beijing more room to ease monetary policy to stimulate growth.

China last week slashed interest rates to encourage more lending and channel funds into the slowing economy.

China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew an annual 8.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012 — its slowest pace in nearly three years.

The government has reduced its economic growth target for this year to just 7.5 percent, down from growth of 9.2 percent last year and 10.4 percent in 2010.

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