Fixed-asset investment outside rural households rose 5.3% in the January-August period from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. The rate was the most sluggish since 1992, when the investment data was first available, according to data provider Wind. Economists had expected the pace to at least match the 5.5% rate recorded from January to July, given that the government has been encouraging more investment. While investment in property and manufacturing held steady, infrastructure—a key part of the government’s program to prevent a slippage in growth—remained weak, according to the official statistics. Related “If investment, especially infrastructure investment, fails to recover in September, the risk on economic growth would be very large,” said Shuang Ding, an economist at Standard Chartered. He said that local governments should have received extra funds following a deluge in bond-issuance last month, but that the money is probably still sitting in […]