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China April factory output rises 6.5% y-o-y, investment up 8.9%; miss expectations

[BEIJING] China's factory output growth cooled, rising 6.5 per cent in April from a year earlier, while fixed-asset investment grew 8.9 per cent in the first four months this year - both outcomes were worse than expectations.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted factory output would grow by 7.1 per cent in April, easing from March's over two year high rate of 7.6 per cent.

Fixed asset investment had been forecast to grow 9.1 per cent over the first four months of the year, easing from 9.2 per cent in Jan-April.

Retail sales rose 10.7 per cent in April from a year earlier. Analysts had forecasted they would rise 10.6 per cent, edging lower from the previous period's 10.9 per cent growth.

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Private investment growth slowed to 6.9 per cent in January-April period from 7.7 per cent in the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, suggesting small- and medium-sized private firms still face tough access to financing.

Private investment accounts for about 60 per cent of overall investment in China.

China is targeting growth of around 9 per cent in fixed asset investment for 2017, and expects retail sales to increase about 10 per cent.

The country's first quarter economic growth at 6.9 per cent was the strongest since 2015, bolstered by higher government infrastructure spending and a gravity defying property boom.

China has cut its economic growth target to around 6.5 per cent this year to give policymakers more room to push through painful reforms and contain financial risks after years of debt-fueled stimulus.