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China Aug factory output up 6%, investment up 7.8%, both miss forecasts
[BEIJING] China's factory output grew 6 per cent in August from a year earlier, while fixed-asset investment expanded 7.8 per cent in the first eight months, both well below economists' forecasts, data showed on Thursday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted factory output would grow 6.6 per cent in August, up from 6.4 per cent in the previous month.
Fixed-asset investment had been forecast to grow 8.2 per cent over the first eight months of the year, which would have marked a slight moderation from 8.3 growth in January-July.
Retail sales rose 10.1 per cent in August from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said, cooling from July's 10.4 per cent pace and below analysts' expectations for a 10.5 per cent increase.
Growth of private investment slowed to 6.4 per cent in January-August from 6.9 per cent in the first seven months of the year, suggesting small- and medium-sized private firms still face challenges in accessing financing.
Private investment accounts for about 60 per cent of overall investment in China.
China is forecasting growth of around 9 per cent in fixed asset investment for 2017, and expects retail sales to increase about 10 per cent.
The government is targeting annual economic growth of around 6.5 per cent this year, down from the 6.7 per cent pace clocked in 2016.
Analysts say Beijing should handily meet the 2017 growth target after the economy surprised many by growing at a healthy clip of 6.9 per cent in the first half of the year.
However, most China watchers expect activity will slow slightly in coming months as higher financing costs and property market curbs start to weigh on activity.