China's property development investment grows at slower pace

China industrial output slows sharply in July

China's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, grew 6.4 percent year on year in July, compared with the 7.6-percent increase for June, official data showed Monday. The fixed-asset investment in urban areas increased 8.3% from a year earlier in the first seven months, versus a forecast 8.6% rise.

Output by Chinese factories and workshops grew by a lower-than-expected 6.4% compared to the same month past year, the national statistics bureau said.

That missed market expectations of 7.1 percent but was faster than the 6 percent increase in July past year.

Property sales measured by floor area grew 14 percent in January-July from the same period a year earlier, down from 16.1 percent in the first six months of the year.

Retail sales, meanwhile, slowed slightly to 10.4% last month, compared to 11% in June, while fixed asset investment posted 8.3% growth in the January-July period - both slightly below expectations.

The lower rates showed the clear effects of China's property curbs, the bureau's spokesperson Mao Shengyong said at a press conference.

He said major economic indicators are almost flat from the first half and significantly improved from previous year.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said at a briefing in Beijing that speculative property purchases have been effectively controlled as the overheated property market has cooled somewhat, adding that the housing market should be able to maintain stable growth.

More new jobs have been created, overall inflation is stable and market confidence is improving, Mao said.

But Betty Rui Wang, senior China economist at ANZ, said the slowdown is likely to be temporary as the bad weather was partly to blame for July's industrial output.

Ample commercial stocks, a glut of refined products and rising retail competition driving fuel prices lower all make it likely that growth in China's crude imports may moderate in coming months.

A slowdown in property investment and home sales, along with an easing in overseas shipments, point to further weakness down the road as President Xi Jinping seeks to cement his power at a key Communist Party congress this year and push ahead with a long-delayed economic restructure.

China's economy expanded 6.9 per cent for the first half of 2017, with consumption and services, together with new innovation-driven economic sectors, taking up larger roles in the economy.

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