BEIJING Aug 13 (Reuters) - China's industrial output rose 9 percent in July from a year earlier, as expected, while retail sales climbed 12.2 percent, a shade below forecasts, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.
Fixed-asset investment, an important driver of economic activity, also missed forecasts, growing 17 percent in the first seven months from the same period last year, it said.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output to rise 9 percent and retail sales to rise 12.4 percent. Fixed-asset investment for the January-July period was seen up 17.4 percent.
China's annual economic growth cooled to an 18-month low of 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014 but edged back up to 7.5 percent in the second quarter thanks to a flurry of government stimulus measures.
Some economists believe further stimulus may be needed to sustain the recovery and offset the drag from the cooling property market. (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Kim Coghill)