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China posts flat industrial output growth in July, investment slows

China's industrial output expanded at a softer-than-expected pace in July from the year-ago period, National Bureau of Statistics data showed.

Industrial production grew 6.0% year over year in July, unchanged from June. On a year-over-year basis, mining production rose 1.3%, manufacturing production climbed 6.2% and the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water went up 9.0%.

Industrial production expanded an annual 6.6% in the January-July period.

Industrial profits in the first half of 2018 grew an annual 17.2% to 3.388 trillion yuan, up 0.7 percentage point from the first five months.

Fixed-asset investment in the first seven months of 2018 grew 5.5% year over year to 35.580 trillion yuan, 0.5 percentage point slower than the first six months.

In the first seven months to July, private investment rose 8.8% to 22.265 trillion yuan from the year-ago period, while real estate investment grew an annual 10.2% to 6.589 trillion yuan.

Consumer prices rose 2.1% year over year in July, 0.2 percentage point higher than the prior month. In the seven months through to July, consumer prices grew 2.0% year over year.

China's manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 51.2 in July from 51.5 in June because of harsh weather conditions and heightened trade tensions, said NBS.

The unemployment rate in urban areas in July stood at 5.1%, 0.3 percentage point higher than the previous month and unchanged year ove year, said NBS, citing data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

"Generally speaking, the national economy continued to stay stable with a good growing momentum in July. However, we must be fully aware of the severe and complex environment both at home and abroad, as well as the lurking uncertainties behind the stable economy," said NBS.

As of Aug. 13, US$1 was equivalent to 6.89 Chinese yuan.