China's fixed-asset investment up 27.3 percent

BEIJING - China's urban fixed-asset investment rose 27.3 percent in the first seven months of 2008 compared with a year earlier, official figures showed Friday, stoking hopes of robust economic growth.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 15 Aug 2008, 12:56 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:53 AM

Fixed-asset investment in cities was 7.22 trillion yuan (1.05 trillion dollars) for the period, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The investment is seen as boosting the economy's productive capacity.

‘In July, fixed-asset investment again accelerated to a certain extent,’ the bureau said a statement. ‘That's positive for tackling the issues arising from a weakening in external demand.’

Data this week have suggested weakening exports are slowing Chinese growth, indicating the world's fourth-largest economy may have to rely more on domestic demand and investment.

‘Urban fixed-asset investment has maintained a growth level of about 25 percent every month,’ the statement said. ‘That's an important accomplishment.’

Investment in property projects was particularly vibrant, increasing 30.9 percent in the first seven months of 2008.

Economists said fixed-asset investment might be a silver lining for China's performance over 2008, after economic expansion slowed to 10.4 percent in the first half from 11.9 percent for all of 2007.

‘It is relatively a good sign for the full year economy,’ Shenzhen-based Ping'an Securities' analyst Sun Fanghong told AFP.

‘I think the government is quite happy with the overall economic figures and the growth pace. So it is unlikely to introduce big changes to its policy as a whole,’ she said.

Some economists had worried that China had been tightening the flow of credit too much as it bids to curb high inflation, but Beijing's focus now appears to have shifted to promoting growth.

Recent data showed China's trade surplus declined 9.6 percent in the first seven months of 2008 from the same period last year, confirming the impact of the US-led global economic slowdown.

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