China's deficit in the current account stood at 12.8 billion in U.S. dollar terms in the January-September period, data showed.
That was down from 28.3 billion dollars in the first half of the year, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said Monday in an online statement.
China's service trade posted a deficit of 229.5 billion U.S. dollars, up from 147.3 billion dollars in H1. The spending on trips, transport and intellectual property rights contributed to the bulk of the deficit.
China has taken steps to improve its service trade, including gradually opening up its finance, education, culture and medical sectors.
SAFE said China's international balance of payments was within a range of equilibrium last quarter and will continue to remain reasonable in the future.
China saw a goods trade surplus of 256.1 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters.