Page last updated at 06:35 GMT, Friday, 12 September 2008 07:35 UK

Olympics slows Chinese industry

Chinese factory worker
Hundreds of Chinese factories were closed last month

The rate of growth of China's industrial output slowed to a six-month low in August, hit by the temporary closure of factories for the Olympics.

With hundreds of facilities shut to help improve air quality for the games, output growth slowed to 12.8% last month compared with August 2007.

The latest official figure compares with July's 14.7% reading.

Retail sales rose at an annual rate of 23.2% in August, down slightly from 23.3% in July.

China's economy grew 11.9% in 2007, but has since slowed to 10.1% for the second quarter of this year, as the government continues efforts to reduce the rate of growth for fear that the economy is overheating.

To help do this, Beijing has increased interest rates and reduced the bank funds available to firms.

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