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China's Industrial Output, Retail Sales Growth Improves


China's industrial production and retail sales growth improved in August, while investment growth slowed down, indicating the weakness in the economic momentum.

Industrial production climbed 6.1 percent year-on-year in August, in line with expectations, but slightly faster than the 6 percent increase seen in July, data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed Friday.

Retail sales growth improved to 9 percent in August from 8.8 percent in July. The rate was expected to remain unchanged at 8.8 percent.

However, during the January to August period, fixed asset investment climbed at a slower pace of 5.3 percent from the previous year compared to 5.5 percent in the January to July period and a 5.6 percent increase economists had forecast.

Property investment logged an annual growth of 10.1 percent in the January to August period versus 10.2 percent in the January to July period.

The August activity and spending data were a mixed bag, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

The economist said growth will continue to slow in the coming months given that policy stimulus has so far failed to drive a turnaround in infrastructure spending or broader credit growth, even as the property sector is coming under renewed pressure from regulatory tightening.

The International Monetary Fund forecast the Chinese economy to expand 6.6 percent this year and the government targets "around 6.5 percent" growth.

Data also showed that the surveyed jobless rate dropped marginally to 5 percent in August from 5.1 percent in July.

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