Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China posted a 20.6 percent year-on-year decline in the first quarter to $21.78 billion, the Ministry of Commerce announced Wednesday.
In March, FDI was $8.4 billion, the biggest amount since October 2008 which was $8.35 billion. However, the March figure was down 9.5 percent from a year earlier, ministry spokesman Yao Jian said at a news conference.
March was the sixth consecutive month that FDI fell. The good news is that the decline eased from the 15.81 percent drop in February and a 32.67 percent drop in January.
Zhang Hanya, an economist with the National Development and Reform Commission said a reduced decline indicated overseas investors growing confidence in the country's economic recovery.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Saturday that the Chinese economy showed signs of positive improvement in the first quarter as a result of the economic stimulus package adopted by China.
Yao added stable investment inflows were important for the country to stabilize exports, enhance employment and boost consumption as the government tries to make China more attractive to investors.
The ministry said in March it was shifting authority for approving certain foreign investments to provincial governments.