* July factory output +9 pct y/y vs f'cast +9.0 pct
* July retail sales +12.2 pct y/y vs f'cast 12.4 pct
* Jan-July fixed-asset investment +17 pct vs f'cast +17.4
* Jan-July property investment +13.7 pct y/y
BEIJING, Aug 13 China's economy showed further
signs of softening in July despite a burst of government
stimulus measures, suggesting more
policy support may be needed to keep growth on track.
An encouraging performance from factories, where output for
July met market forecasts, was offset by less buoyant activity
for investment and retail sales, where growth was not as strong
as expected, while the cooling property market showed further
signs of deterioration.
Data earlier on Wednesday showed the amount of money flowing
into China's economy slowed to the lowest level in nearly six
year, adding to worries about the outlook.
"The activity figures are basically lower than market
expectations, especially the investment data, which is mainly
due to the weak showing in the property market," said Zhou Hao,
an economist at ANZ in Shanghai.
"I would say the government will have to further relax
policies to deliver an annual growth rate of 7.5 percent."
China's economic growth quickened slightly to 7.5 percent in
the second quarter - in line with the government's full-year
target - from 7.4 percent in the first three months, its weakest
pace in 18 months.
But much of the pick-up was attributed to government
stimulus, rather than a genuine recovery in momentum.
Industrial output rose 9 percent in July from a year
earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday,
slowing from June's 9.2 percent gain but in line with market
Fixed-asset investment, an important driver of economic
activity, grew 17 percent in the first seven months from the
same period last year, it said. That compared with a 17.3
percent rise in the first six months.
The investment figure is closely watched amid the
government's push to quicken spending on railway and public
housing projects to help offset falling property investment.
Stimulus measures unveiled so far include speeding up the
construction of railway projects and public housing, while the
central bank has eased monetary conditions by guiding market
rates lower and cut reserve requirements for some banks.
Retail sales, a key gauge of domestic consumption, rose 12.2
percent in July from a year earlier, slowing from June's 12.4
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales to
rise 12.4 percent, while fixed-asset investment for the
January-July period was seen up 17.4 percent.
July export growth posted last week was double what markets
had expected but imports unexpectedly fell, pointing to weakness
in domestic demand. Inflation also remained tame, adding to
signs of slack in the economy.
Questions about the durability of the economic recovery
flared last week after surveys on service sector activity showed
unexpected weakness, linked largely to the housing market
Real estate investment, which affects more than 40 other
sectors from cement to furniture, rose 13.7 percent in the first
seven months from the same period a year ago, slowing from a
rise of 14.1 percent in the first six months.
Sales measured by floor space fell 7.6 percent from a year
ago in the first seven months, while sales revenue fell 8.2
percent. New construction dropped 12.8 percent.
(Reporting by China economics team; Editing by Kim Coghill)