January 21, 2019 / 2:09 AM / 6 months ago

China's 2018 fixed-asset investment up 5.9 pct, Dec industrial output up 5.7 pct

BEIJING, Jan 21 (Reuters) - China’s fixed-asset investment rose 5.9 percent in 2018, missing expectations of a 6.0 percent increase and the slowest annual growth since at least 1996, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

Private-sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China, rose 8.7 percent in 2018, compared with an increase of 8.7 percent in the first 11 months.

Industrial output grew 5.7 percent in December from a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected industrial output would grow 5.3 percent, slowing from 5.4 percent in November.

Retail sales rose 8.2 percent in December on-year, in line with a forecast rise of 8.2 percent and up from November’s 8.1 percent gain.

China’s economic growth has slowed to near 30-year lows amid mounting pressure at home and abroad, with sluggish investment, softening consumer demand and punishing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods sparking fears of heavy job losses.

Beijing is expected to roll out more support measures in coming months to avert a sharper slowdown, but many analysts do not expect activity to convincingly bottom out until summer. (Reporting by Yawen Chen and Min Zhang; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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