BEIJING (AP) -- Foreign direct investment in China fell in February as companies were battered by the global financial crisis but the decline was less severe than in previous months, the Commerce Ministry said Monday.
Foreign companies invested $5.8 billion in China in February, down 15.8 percent from the same month last year, ministry spokesman Yao Jian told reporters. The decline was less severe than January's 32.7 percent decline in foreign investment.
Foreign investment for the combined January-February period fell 26.2 percent from the same period last year, Yao said.
Data for the combined period often are considered a more accurate gauge of China's economic health because the Lunar New Year holiday, during which companies shut down, falls at different times during those two months.
China's trade and foreign investment have weakened sharply since September as the global crisis cut into demand for Chinese goods.
Despite the decline, some companies are still expanding operations in China and the government is trying to attract more investment in high-technology areas such as computer chip manufacturing.