Beijing believes the economy is on course to hit its growth target for 2009 following the release of encouraging data for the first eight months, AFP reported. Li Xiaochao, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, said the data suggests China "has a laid a good foundation" for achieving full-year GDP growth of 8%. Industrial production expanded by 12.3% year-on-year in August, up from 10.8% in July, the fourth consecutive monthly improvement. Urban fixed-asset investment was up 33% for the first eight months, on a par with growth for the January-July period. Retail sales were also strong in August, posting growth of 15.4% year-on-year compared to 15.2% in July, while consumer prices declined by 1.2%. It was seventh consecutive month that China’s consumer price index has fallen.