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China's industrial output accelerates more than expected in Aug, retail sales turn up

BEIJING, Sept 15 (Reuters) - China’s industrial output rose 5.6% in August from a year ago, data showed on Tuesday, expanding for the fifth straight month in a boost to an economy trying to regain its footing from the shock of the coronavirus outbreak earlier in the year.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected annual industrial output growth to have quickened to 5.1% in August from 4.8% gain in July, as more businesses resumed production after Beijing managed to largely contain the epidemic and remove most of the nationwide virus curbs.

China’s retail sales rose 0.5% last month from a year earlier, expanding for the first time this year, beating analysts’ forecast for zero growth and compared with a 1.1% drop in July.

Consumption has been slowly picking up following the relaxation of nationwide containment measures.

Fixed asset investment fell 0.3% in the first eight months of the year from the same period in 2019, compared with a forecast 0.4% fall and a 1.6% decline in the first seven months of the year.

The world’s second-biggest economy has largely managed to bounce back from the health crisis, though intensifying Sino-U.S. tensions over a range of issues and the global demand outlook remain risk factors. (Reporting by Gabriel Crossley, Colin Qian and Kevin Yao; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)