January 18, 2018 / 7:10 AM / 4 months ago

RPT-China 2017 fixed asset investment grows 7.2 pct, slowest since 1999

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BEIJING, Jan 18 (Reuters) - China’s fixed-asset investment rose 7.2 percent in 2017, more than expected but the slowest annual pace since 1999.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted full-year investment growth of 7.1 percent, cooling from 7.2 percent in the first 11 months of the year and 8.1 percent growth in 2016.

Private sector fixed-asset investment rose 6.0 percent in 2017, up from an increase of 5.7 percent in the first 11 months of the year and compared with 3.2 percent growth in 2016.

Industrial output rose 6.2 percent in December from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, higher than analysts’ estimates for a rise of 6.0 percent.

Output rose 6.1 percent in November on-year.

For full-year 2017, industrial output rose 6.6 percent, up from 6.0 percent growth in 2016.

Retail sales rose 9.4 percent in December from a year earlier, missing expectations.

Analysts had forecast they would rise 10.1 percent, slightly lower than a 10.2 percent rise in November.

For the year, retail sales rose 10.2 percent, compared to 10.4 percent growth in 2016.

China’s GDP growth in Q4 2017 was unchanged from the Q3 at 6.8 percent.

Policy sources told Reuters previously that China will keep its GDP growth target at around 6.5 percent in 2018 as Beijing seeks to balance efforts to reduce debt risks while keeping the economy on a steady footing. (Reporting by Kevin Yao and Cheng Fang; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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