The mainland's industrial output growth is likely to slow to about 10 per cent in the second half, constrained by property tightening measures and uncertain export prospects, but a double dip in the economy is unlikely, according to a government official yesterday. Fixed-asset investment and the purchasing managers' index (PMI), the two leading economic indicators, showed that the economy would cool for the remainder of this year, said Xin Guobin, a department head at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Industrial output has been losing steam. Growth was 13.4 per cent last month year on year, down from 20.7 per cent in the first two months of the year. Lending curbs and a crackdown on property speculation eased demand and dampened production confidence. The three-month decline in the PMI from its peak in April, and decelerating investment in property, plants and equipment since the beginning of the year, have made the job tougher for policymakers. Economists say they now have to worry about mounting inflationary pressures. 'The property curbs will continue to affect the demand for building materials, household appliances, furniture, steel, cement and other products,' said Xin. 'The anticipated appreciation of the yuan and the European debt crisis will also add to uncertainties about our exports in the second half.' However, Xin forecast that industrial output growth will maintain a healthy level of around 13 per cent for the full year, and a double dip in the world's second-largest economy is unlikely. The mainland's economic growth slowed from double digits in 2006 and 2007 to 9.6 per cent in 2008 and 9.1 per cent last year as a result of the global financial crisis. Lu Ting, an economist with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, expects 'a moderate, only moderate slowdown' in industrial production and 9 per cent gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter, putting yearly GDP growth at 10.1 per cent. 'We expect some bearish competitors to revise up growth forecasts for the fourth quarter soon,' said Lu. 'Industrial output will moderate further ... but we believe it will remain at around 11.8 per cent in the next quarter.' The economist pointed to cement and steel as examples. Cement production growth has been stable at around 16 per cent since the middle of last year, but crude steel output growth slumped to 2.2 per cent in July. The gap between steel and cement output growth suggested steel manufacturers and traders had been de-stocking recently amid a lack of confidence, but the output of cement, which is hard to store, meant real demand for steel and cement was quite robust, he said. The mainland is scheduled to release August data next Monday. Shenyin and Wanguo Securities estimates industrial output grew 13.2 per cent year on year last month.