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Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 04:47 GMT Sep 14/00:47 EST Sep 14
     BEIJING (MNI) - Fixed-asset investment growth in China was weaker than
expected in the first eight months of the year due to slowdowns in
infrastructure spending and private investment, according to statistics released
Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics.  
     Fixed-asset investment totaled CNY39.42 trillion in the January-August
period, up 7.8% from the year-earlier period but lower than the 8.1% gain in the
same period last year and the 8.2% increase expected in a Market News Survey of
20 economists. 
     The headline reading was the lowest growth rate since the January-December
1999 period, when it was just 6.3%.
     Fixed-asset investment rose 0.57% in August on a monthly basis, slightly
slower than the rise of 0.60% in June.
     The main sub-indicators mostly showed a softening growth trend.
     Investment in the agricultural sector grew 12.2% year-on-year to CNY1.27
trillion in the first eight months, down 2.2 percentage points from the 14.4%
growth in the first seven months, the NBS said. 
     Industrial sector investment grew 3.2% y/y to CNY14.82 trillion, 0.7
percentage point lower than the January-July period. Within the industrial
sector, investment in manufacturing grew 4.5% y/y in the first eight months,
compared with 4.8% growth in the January-July period. 
     Mining sector investment continued to shrink, falling 7% on an annualized
basis, from a 6.1% decrease during the first seven months. 
     Investment in the services sector grew 10.6% to CNY23.32 trillion in the
first eight months, down 0.7 percentage point from the January-July period, the
NBS said.
     Infrastructure investment growth inched down to 19.8% year-on-year growth
from 20.9% y/y growth in the January-July period. 
     "The infrastructure sector slowed down mainly because of the lower fiscal
spending in August," Xie Yunliang, an analyst with Guotai Junan Securities, told
MNI. "But I do not think [infrastructure] investment will continue to drop as
the fiscal revenue should go up on the increase in land sales," Xie added. 
     In the first eight months this year, private investment, a main contributor
to overall growth, also slowed, rising 6.4%, down from 6.9% in the January-July
period. Private sector investment accounted for 60.7% of total fixed-asset
investment during the first eight months of the year.
     "Investment will be supported for the rest of this year, considering that
profits are still increasing and the market demand is expanding at a stable
pace," NBS spokesman Liu Aihua said at a press conference on Thursday.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532 5998; email: marissa.wang@marketnews.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: vince.morkri@marketnews.com