A shopping mall under construction in Chongqing, China. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

Investment in fixed assets in urban areas such as factories and highways grew at the slowest pace in almost 18 years, up 7.8% year over year, Chinese financial news outlet Caixin reports, citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Industrial output for August also underwhelmed, posting the weakest growth yet for the year, up 6% from the same period last year. Retail sales registered the slowest growth in six months.

Analysts have already factored in a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, with some estimates that growth could slow to 6% next year. That would be the slowest growth in almost three decades, and a sharp decline after the surprising 6.9% pace posted in the first half of this year.

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