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June 14, 2018, 1:00 a.m. EDT

Business activity slows in China in May

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By MarketWatch

BEIJING--Business activity in China slowed across the board in May, suggesting the world's second largest economy is facing growing headwinds, official data showed.

Value-added industrial output in China rose 6.8% in May from a year earlier, slowing slightly from a 7.0% on-year increase in April, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

May's increase undershot a median 7% expected growth forecast according to a poll of 11 economists conducted by The Wall Street Journal.

Fixed-asset investment in China's nonrural areas rose 6.1% in the January to May period from a year earlier. Growth for the closely watched indicator of construction activity also undershot economists' median forecast for a 7% gain.

It was slower than the 7% increase recorded in the January to April period.

Retail sales in China climbed 8.5% in May from a year earlier, slowing from a 9.4% on-year increase in April; that was lower than economists' forecast for 9.6% growth.

China's central bank on Thursday left key short-term interest rates unchanged, despite the Federal Reserve's second rate increase in 2018.

Write to Grace Zhu at grace.zhu@wsj.com

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