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China's 2018 fixed-asset investment up 5.9%, Dec industrial output up 5.7%

[BEIJING] China's fixed-asset investment rose 5.9 per cent in 2018, missing expectations of a 6.0 per cent increase and the slowest annual growth since at least 1996, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

Private-sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for about 60 per cent of overall investment in China, rose 8.7 per cent in 2018, compared with an increase of 8.7 per cent in the first 11 months.

Industrial output grew 5.7 per cent in December from a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected industrial output would grow 5.3 per cent, slowing from 5.4 per cent in November.

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Retail sales rose 8.2 per cent in December on-year, in line with a forecast rise of 8.2 per cent and up from November's 8.1 per cent gain.

China's economic growth has slowed to near 30-year lows amid mounting pressure at home and abroad, with sluggish investment, softening consumer demand and punishing US tariffs on Chinese goods sparking fears of heavy job losses.

Beijing is expected to roll out more support measures in coming months to avert a sharper slowdown, but many analysts do not expect activity to convincingly bottom out until summer. 

REUTERS