BEIJING, May 15 (Reuters) - China’s industrial output grew 7.0 percent in April from a year earlier, much more than expected, but fixed-asset investment growth slowed to 7.0 percent in the first four months, below forecasts, official data showed on Tuesday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted industrial output growth would rise to 6.3 percent, bouncing back from a softer-than-expected 6.0 percent reading in March.
Investment growth had been expected to ease only slightly to 7.4 percent in the first four months from the same period a year earlier, compared with 7.5 percent in January-March.
Private sector fixed-asset investment rose 8.4 percent in January-April, slowing from growth of 8.9 percent in the first three months.
Private investment accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China.
Retail sales rose 9.4 percent in April from a year earlier, missing expectations of an increase of 10.0 percent, compared with a rise of 10.1 percent in March.
China’s economy grew at a slightly faster-than-expected pace of 6.8 percent in the first quarter, well above Beijing’s target of around 6.5 percent for the full-year.
But economists have stuck by forecasts that its momentum will cool later in the year, even if Beijing and Washington can reach a compromise in their heated trade dispute. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Kim Coghill)