Newly released economic indicators fell short of market expectations, revealing that the Chinese economy still lacks momentum and downward pressure remains.
China's value-added industrial output, which measures the final value of industrial production, expanded 6 percent year on year in July, down from 6.8 percent for June, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.
The decline in output growth ended a steady recovery trend recorded in the second quarter of this year.
NBS statistician Jiang Yuan attributed the drop mainly to flagging external demand, a weak property sector and lowered production of some consumer goods, including automobiles and cigarettes.
Year-on-year growth in the first seven months stood at 6.3 percent, the same level as the growth for the first half of the year.
The NBS data only tracks the output of large Chinese companies with annual primary business revenues of more than 20 million yuan (3.16 million U.S. dollars).
Industrial output in China's western regions increased by 7.9 percent in July, trailed by 7.4 percent in central areas and 6 percent in eastern regions.
Manufacturing output rose 6.6 percent, mining output added 5.6 percent, while that of the electricity, heating, gas and water sectors dropped 0.2 percent, the bureau said.
China's fixed-asset investment, a major driver of growth, also witnessed slightly slower growth, with no sign of improvement for investment in property and infrastructure.
Retail sales held steady in July, as the growth rate was just 0.1 percentage point lower than a month ago.