China's investment, retail sales miss expectations; July industrial output growth steady

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BEIJING, Aug 14 (Reuters) - China's fixed-asset investment growth slowed more than expected to 5.5 percent in the first seven months of the year, in a further sign of softening demand in the world's second-largest economy, data showed on Tuesday.

Industrial output grew 6.0 percent in July from a year earlier, steady from the previous month. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted industrial output growth quickened to 6.3 percent in July from 6.0 percent in June.

Investment growth had been expected to remain at 6.0 percent in the first seven months of the year, in line with the pace in January-June.

Private sector fixed-asset investment rose 8.8 percent in January-July, compared with an increase of 8.4 percent in the first half, according to official data.

Private investment accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China.

Retail sales rose 8.8 percent in July from a year earlier, below an expected 9.1 percent and down from 9.0 percent in June.

An escalting trade dispute with the United States and rising corporate borrowing costs this year have raised concerns that the economy may be at risk of a sharper slowdown than earlier expected. (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Sam Holmes and Kim Coghill)