October 19, 2018 / 2:17 AM / a month ago

China September industrial output weakens; investment, retail sales beat expectations

FILE PHOTO: Aluminium bar stock is seen inside a factory in Dongguan, China April 10, 2018. Picture taken April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s industrial output grew 5.8 percent in September from a year earlier, missing expectations, while fixed-asset investment growth rose to 5.4 percent in the first nine months, above forecasts, data showed on Friday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted industrial output would grow 6.0 percent, slowing from 6.1 percent in August.

Investment growth had been expected to hold at 5.3 percent in the first nine months of the year, matching a record low growth rate in January-August.

Private sector fixed-asset investment rose 8.7 percent in January-September, compared with an increase of 8.7 percent in the first eight months, according to official data.

Private investment accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China.

Retail sales rose 9.2 percent in September from a year earlier. Analysts had expected retail sales to rise 9.0 percent, unchanged from the growth rate in August.

Beijing and Washington have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on each other in recent months and plans for bilateral trade talks to resolve the dispute have stalled, triggering a domestic market rout and putting pressure on China’s already softening economy and weakening currency.

Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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