BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Growth in China's fixed-asset investment (FAI) continued to ease, but with optimized structure as the country focused on the quality of growth, data showed Thursday.
FAI rose 7.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, down from 7.8 percent for January-August, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
This marked the sixth consecutive month of falling growth. The pace was also 0.7 percentage point lower than the same period of 2016.
NBS spokesperson Xing Zhihong said investment had been crucial in strengthening weak links, pushing economic restructuring, encouraging innovation and improving people's livelihood.
Infrastructure investment, which accounts for more than 20 percent of total FAI, surged 19.8 percent year on year during the January-September period.
Xing said although China has recorded fast infrastructure development, weak links remain and infrastructure spending will maintain strong growth.
He did not specify the weak links, but said more infrastructure investment has been channeled into areas including environmental protection, road construction and public facility renovations this year.
As China tries to shift the economy towards a growth model that draws strength from consumption, innovation and services, investment pours into high-tech sectors.
For the first nine months, high-tech manufacturing saw investment up by 18.4 percent, up from 11.7 percent during the same period of 2016.
Private sector FAI grew 6 percent in the first nine months, accounting for 60.5 percent of the total, according to NBS. The pace of growth cooled from 6.4 percent for January-August.
However, investment in property development expanded at a faster pace of 8.1 percent during the period, up from 7.9 percent in the first eight months.
As the government maintained property purchasing curbs to contain speculation, housing sales growth slowed.
Housing sales measured by floor area rose 10.3 percent for the first nine months, with growth down from 12.7 percent for January-August. Growth of housing sales value also decelerated to 14.6 percent for January-September from 17.2 percent in the first eight months.