BEIJING, Jan. 16 -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China jumped 23.58 percent annually to 92.4 billion U.S. dollars last year, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Yao Jian said on Thursday.
The gain, however, was lower than the 26.3 percent increase for the first 11 months of last year and 35 percent for the first 10 months.
According to Yao, the increase in foreign investment mainly flow to the service sector, which attracted 38.12 billion U.S. dollars of FDI last year, up 24.23 percent.
FDI fell 5.73 percent in December from a year earlier to 5.98 billion U.S. dollars, according to the ministry. November's decline was 36.5 percent.
December's FDI rose 12.3 percent from November. It was the first month-on-month rise since July last year.
China approved the establishment of 2,562 overseas-funded enterprises in December, down 25.78 percent year on year.
Last year, foreign companies invested more money in western and central China, instead of the comparatively-developed eastern region, Yao said.
FDI surged nearly 80 percent last year from 2007 in western China, while that in central China rose 36.44 percent.
Outbound investment of Chinese companies, excluding investment in the financial sector, surged 63.6 percent year on year in 2008 to 40.65 billion U.S. dollars, he said.