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China’s July economic activities see slower but stable growth

Important economic indicators released on Aug 14 showed steady growth in China in July, indicating momentum in stabilizing economic development while ongoing structural adjustment continues to pay off.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics show industrial output grew at 6.4 percent in July, slower than the previous month but better than the same period last year.

The country’s value-added industrial output grew 6.4 percent year-on-year in July, compared with the 7.6 percent increase for June.

There were also signs of increased production and supply of electricity, gas and water, despite a drop in mining.

High-tech industry and equipment manufacturing sector saw more rapid growth than the average industrial output by 5.7 percent and 4.3 percent respectively.

Fixed-asset investment grew steadily at 8.3 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of this year, down from 8.6 percent for the first half this year.

Spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics Mao Shengyong said the improving trend is continuing and structural adjustment is deepening. Even though some indicators went down slightly, a steady growth should continue throughout this year.

“From the three major driving forces of our economy which are consumption, investment and export, we believe the strong momentum of those sectors is capable enough to support the steady growth of the second half of the year,” said Mao. “It’s also normal, even if the GDP slows downs 0.1 or 0.2 percent, because this growth rate will top the list of major global economies. ”

Data in the real estate sector showed signs of slowing down, with investment in this sector between January-July rising 7.9 percent from the same period a year earlier, easing from a 8.5 percent growth in the first half of the year.

Mao said this is the result of the cooling property market and that curbing measures are taking effect.

Even though some are concerned the weaker property market could pose a threat to China’s economy, officials say the drop in the sector is reasonable.

“Despite sales of commercial buildings measured in floor space went down slightly, it still reached a 2-digit growth. Investment in the property sector also declined slightly, but it performed better than last year. So we believe even though the real estate market showed signs of cooling down, it remains stable.”

While some indicators in July point to a slowdown in economic activity due to a cooling property sector and weaker growth in investment, many experts believe the challenges are short-term and that overall economic growth in the second half of the year will remain relatively strong.