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BEIJING, March 14 (Reuters) - China's real estate investment growth slowed to 8.9 percent in the first two months of 2017 from the same period a year earlier, while property sales sped up despite government cooling measures, according to official data.
Real estate investment, which directly affects about 40 other business sectors in China, is considered to be a crucial driver for the world's second largest economy.
The Jan-Feb investment growth, reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), compared with 6.9 percent in the full year of 2016, and 11.1 percent in December alone according to Reuters' calculations based on official data released on Tuesday.
Property sales by area rose 25.1 percent year-on-year in the first two months of this year. That was above the 22.5 percent annual gain in 2016, which was the strongest annual growth in seven years thanks to a property boom in top-tier cities.
Property sales area rose 11.8 percent in December alone, according to Reuters' calculations.
Policymakers have started to worry about an overheating property market and the risk of a sudden and sharp correction knocking down the economy. A series of buying and ownership restrictions have been implemented in hot markets since October. (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Yawen Chen; Editing by Randy Fabi)