The mainland's economic growth may slow in the second half following the deceleration in industrial output, fixed-asset investment and retail sales last month, economists said. The National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday value-added industrial output was up 14 per cent year on year last month after climbing 15.1 per cent in June. Although the figure is slightly below market expectations, economists say growth is still healthy. Urban fixed-asset investment in the first seven months was up 25.4 per cent from a year earlier at 15.24 trillion yuan (HK$18.5 trillion), against 25.6 per cent growth in the six months to June. Last month's growth was 24.5 per cent, compared with 25.1 per cent in June 2010. Property investment, which accounts for 26 per cent of FAI, was up 33.6 per cent from January to July. According to the authorities, nominal retail sales were 17.2 per cent higher than a year ealier at 1.4 trillion yuan. The pace of growth was slower than the 17.7 per cent in June - reflecting a fall in vehicle sales growth. Lu Ting, a chief economist with Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, said last month's production and demand data was quite resilient, suggesting the economy was on track for a soft landing. 'The market should get more confidence about the health of the economy, but it also needs to put less hope on monetary policy easing,' she said. Despite jittery global markets and fears of a double-dip recession in the United States, China's economy could still support prices of global raw materials. Lu said industrial output growth would fall to about 13 per cent in the second half from an average 14.3 per cent in the first half, which will slow gross domestic product growth to 9 to 9.2 per cent from 9.6 per cent. Last year's GDP growth was 10.3 per cent. Yao Wei, an economist at Societe Generale, said the US sovereign downgrade and the worsening European debt crisis had cast a pall over China's growth. Local government debt and a possible slowdown in infrastructure investment following the high-speed rail crash last month might also hobble the economy.