China Aug industrial output grows at slowest pace in 17-1/2 years

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BEIJING (Sept 16): China's industrial production growth skidded to its weakest pace in 17 years and a half in August, expanding just 4.4% year-on-year, signalling further weakness in an economy hit by the trade war and slowing demand.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output would rise 5.2% from a year earlier, a slight rebound from the 17-year low of 4.8% in July.

August's figure is the slowest since February 2002.

Fixed-asset investment for the first eight months of the year rose 5.5%, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics, compared with a 5.6% rise forecast by analysts.

Private sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for about 60% of the country's total investment, grew 4.9% in January-August, compared with a 5.4% rise in the first seven months of 2019.

Retail sales growth slowed to 7.5%, compared with 7.6% in July. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected growth of 7.9%.