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Chinese factory output growth at 5-year low of 6.9%

China’s industrial production growth slowed sharply in August to its lowest level for more than five years at 6.9 per cent, official data showed on Saturday, intensifying concerns for the world’s second-largest economy.

The key indicator, which measures output at factories, workshops and mines, slumped from a 9 per cent year-on-year expansion in July and was the worst since 5.7 per cent in December 2008, during the global financial crisis.

It also fell far short of the 8.7 per cent median increase in a survey of 15 economists by The Wall Street Journal. The abrupt slowdown and other data released on Saturday are certain to compound growing worries over the strength of China’s economy, a key driver of world commerce, following recent indicators suggesting that growth is weakening even after the authorities’ limited stimulatory measures.

Retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, rose 11.9 per cent  in the same month on-year, the  National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said,  down from   12.2 per cent in July. Fixed   asset investment, a measure   of government spending on infrastructure, grew 16.5 per cent on-year in the first eight months of 2014.
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