[BEIJING] Growth in China's real estate investment slowed to 4.3 per cent in the first seventh months of this year from a year ago, while the area of property sold rose an annual 6.1 per cent, official data showed on Wednesday.
The property investment news is a bad omen for China's economic growth, which has stalled as weak overseas demand cut into exports and industrial production, prompting the People's Bank of China to devalue the yuan on Tuesday.
A cooling property market has weighed heavily on the economy over the past year. Real estate investment, which directly affects about 40 other business sectors in China, is considered to be a crucial growth driver.
The weak rise in investment, reported by the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS), compared with an increase of 4.6 per cent in the first half of this year.
The rise in sales area compares with a 3.9 per cent annual rise in January to June.
While home sales and prices have improved in bigger Chinese cities in recent months after a barrage of government support measures, conditions remain weak in smaller cities and a huge overhang of unsold houses is discouraging new investment and construction.