A Trio Of Chinese Economic Data Confirms Things Are Slowing

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Photo: Scott Heavey/Getty Images

BEIJING (Reuters) – Annual growth in China’s industrial output slowed to 8.9 per cent in August, the weakest since May 2009 and below market expectations, official data showed on Sunday.Analysts had forecast China’s industrial output to grow 9.1 per cent in August from a year ago.

Retail sales rose 13.2 per cent last month from a year ago, in line with forecasts in a Reuters poll.

Fixed asset investment, which accounted for half of China’s net economic growth in the first-half of 2012, grew 20.2 per cent between January and August compared to the year earlier period, a touch below expectations for a 20.4 per cent expansion.

The data is likely to reinforce market expectations that China will further adjust policies soon to lift an economy mired in its softest period of growth in three years.

Struggling growth in China’s two largest export markets, the United States and Europe, have led analysts in a Reuters poll to predict the world’s No.2 economy could grow at its slackest pace in 13 years this year at just 8 per cent.

Below is the data released on Sunday:

(per cent change from a year earlier)

Aug F/C Jul

Industrial output +8.9 +9.1 +9.2

Fixed-asset investment +20.2 +20.4 +20.4

Retail sales +13.2 +13.2 +13.1

NOTE:1) Fixed-asset investment data is for the year to date.

2) China started publishing a new measure for fixed asset investment in 2011 that covers projects in both urban and rural areas, but excluded investment made by rural households.

3) Monthly figures for industrial output, retail sales and fixed asset investment are seasonally adjusted.

(Reporting by China Economics Team; Editing by Nick Edwards)

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