Disappointing China data released Thursday – investment, industrial output and retail sales in August – point to a second-half slowdown, according to Caixin. During the first eight months of this year, investment in fixed assets in urban areas such as factories and highways grew at the slowest pace in almost 18 years, up 7.8% from a year ago, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Meanwhile, industrial output in August registered the weakest growth of this year, up 6% from a year ago, the NBS said. Retail sales rose 10.1% from the same month in 2016, the smallest gain in six months. The Chinese government’s ongoing campaign to cut excess industrial capacity and slim down the credit-fueled economy is limiting the near-term growth of the world’s second-largest economy. Analysts have widely factored in a decelerating Chinese economy. Some estimate an economic growth rate of as low as 6% in 2018, which could be the country’s slowest expansion in nearly three decades.
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