BEIJING--China's outbound direct investment dropped 52.8% compared with a year earlier to $13.43 billion in the first two months of the year, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

The ministry didn't elaborate on the decline. In 2016, Chinese companies made a total of $170 billion worth of overseas investments, up 44.1% from a year earlier.

The ministry also said foreign direct investment into China declined 2.3% in the January-February period to 138.68 billion yuan ($20.11 billion).

Write to Grace Zhu at grace.zhu@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 16, 2017 21:56 ET (01:56 GMT)

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