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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 07:49 GMT
Chinese industrial output slows
Builders in China
China wants to curb spending on new construction projects
China's industrial output grew at its slowest annual rate in almost two years in October, official figures show.

Although production increased by 14.7% during the month from a year earlier, it was down from the 16.1% growth seen in September, the government said.

Chinese factories have been shifting down a gear, as Beijing tightens some controls on credit and investment.

Despite the slowdown in output growth, Chinese retail sales and export demand remained strong during October.

October's industrial output figures were the weakest since December 2004, the government said.

Output growth - a key measure of economic activity for the world's fourth-largest economy - has slipped from a high of 19.5% in June, in the wake of interest rate increases and other monetary tightening measures introduced by Beijing.

"This is really a surprisingly low figure," said Li Huiyong, an analyst at Shenyin & Wanguo Securities in Shanghai.

"The effects of the tightening are being felt further now and I think the possibility of fresh steps is low."

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