China's July industrial output rose 4.8% — slowest in 17 years

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    Female labors work in a cloth factory in Huaibei, Anhui province, East China.

    Jie Zhao | Corbis News | Getty Images

    Growth of China’s industrial output slowed much more than expected to 4.8% in July from a year earlier, official data showed on Wednesday, in the latest sign of faltering demand in the world’s second-largest economy as the United States ramps up trade pressure.

    The July pace was the slowest since February 2002. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast industrial output would rise 5.8% from a year earlier, slowing from 6.3% in June.

    Fixed-asset investment for the first seven months of the year rose 5.7%, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics, compared with a 5.8% rise forecast by analysts.

    Private sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for about 60% of the country’s total investment, grew 5.4% in January-July, compared with a 5.7% rise in the first sixth months of 2019.

    Retail sales growth was also weaker than expected, increasing 7.6% in July from a year earlier, compared with 9.8% in June. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected growth of 8.6%.

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