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Investment falls while consumption, services advance
   2017-01-20 13:34:05    Xinhua      Web Editor: Fei Fei

China's fixed-asset investment continued to cool in 2016, growing 8.1 percent year on year, down from 10 percent in 2015 and 15.7 percent in 2014, official data showed Friday.

The reading was slightly down from the 8.2 percent growth for the first three quarters, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

This is the latest step in the continued deceleration of growth in fixed-asset investment: money used to purchase and build factories, machines, property and other fixed facilities.

The figure was among economic data released by the NBS which also showed annual growth of the world's second largest economy had slowed to 6.7 percent for the year, down from 6.9 percent in 2015.

Fixed-asset investment growth has been declining since reaching an annual high of 10.7 percent for Jan.-March.

In the agricultural sector, fixed-asset investment jumped the fastest, up 21.1 percent year on year. It was followed by 10.9 percent growth for the service sector and 3.5 percent for the industrial sector, the NBS data showed.

Investment slowdown is believed to be one of the main reasons behind the weakness in demand and the downside pressure on the Chinese economy.

As old growth drivers slow, consumption and services have risen to take up the slack.

Retail sales of consumer goods, a key indicator of consumption, performed well, due to pro-consumption policies, jumping 10.4 percent year on year to 33.23 trillion yuan (4.84 trillion U.S. dollars).

Consumption contributed 64.6 percent to the GDP in 2016, slightly down from the 66.4 percent in 2015, but remarkably higher than the 51 percent in 2014, NBS data showed.

The service sector contributed 51.6 percent to the economy in 2016, up from 50.2 percent in 2015 and 48.1 percent in 2014, official data showed.

The service sector ratio exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2015, and hit a record high in 2016.

This represents concrete progress in creating a more consumption and service driven economy in order to sustain growth, and indicates China's economic restructuring is pressing ahead.

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