BEIJING, Oct 19 (Reuters) - China’s industrial output rose 6.6 percent in September from a year earlier, faster than expected, while fixed-asset investment expanded 7.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, missing forecasts, data showed on Thursday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected industrial output growth to accelerate to 6.2 percent last month from 6 percent in August as a construction boom shows no signs of flagging and as factories crank up production ahead of winter pollution measures.
Fixed-asset investment growth had been expected to ease only marginally in Jan-Sept from 7.8 percent in the first eight months of the year.
Private sector fixed-asset investment fell to 6.0 percent, down from 6.4 percent in the previous period, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
Retail sales rose 10.3 percent in September on-year, beating expectations.
Analysts had forecasted they would rise 10.2 percent, slightly more than in August.
After a surprisingly strong start to the year, the world’s second largest economy is expected to easily meet or beat the government’s full-year growth forecast of around 6.5 percent.
But most China watchers expect activity will slow in coming months as higher financing costs and measures to cool the heated property market start to weigh on activity.
The government has also ordered some steel mills and factories in northern areas to cut back or halt production in coming months to reduce choking winter air pollution. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Writing by Elias Glenn; Editing by Kim Coghill)