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BEIJING, June 14 (Reuters) - Real estate investment in China rose 8.8 percent in the first five months of 2017 from a year earlier, official data showed on Wednesday.
The pace of investment growth eased from 9.3 percent in January-April, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
Property sales measured by floor area grew 14.3 percent in January-May from the same period a year ago, down from 15.7 percent in the first four months of the year.
New construction starts measured by floor area were up 9.5 percent in the first five months of the year, compared with a 11.1 percent rise in the first four months, the NBS data showed.
Real estate investment, which directly affects 40 other business sectors in China, is considered a crucial driver for the economy. But some analysts expect increasingly stringent cooling measures will eventually drag on investment and dampen construction activity. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Eric Meijer)