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A tower crane at a construction site in Datong, north China's Shanxi province, on August 2, 2013/AFP


China industrial output jumps to five month high

Exports and imports, which had contracted in June, rebounded in July, growing 5.1 percent and 10.9 percent year on year respectively, according to Customs.

Two way trade rose 7.8 percent year on year, slightly lower than the government’s eight percent target for this year but “showing a stabilising and recovering trend”, Customs said.

July’s output growth figure was higher than June’s 8.9 percent and marked the best performance since the 9.9 percent recorded for January and February, which were released together due to distortions related to Chinese New Year.

Separately, retail sales, a key indicator for consumer spending, rose 13.2 percent in July compared with the same month last year, the NBS said, only a marginal slowing from 13.3 percent in June.

Growth in fixed asset investment, a key measure of government spending on infrastructure, increased 20.1 percent during the first seven months of this year compared with the same period in 2012, the NBS said, unchanged on last month’s rate.

Earlier Friday, the NBS said that inflation held steady at 2.7 percent year on year in July, a result seen as potentially giving the authorities some leeway to take measures to boost the economy if needed.

The consumer price index (CPI) rise was marginally below market expectations of 2.8 percent, according to the Dow Jones survey.The CPI reading a main gauge of inflation has broadly eased since hitting 3.2 percent in February during the Chinese New Year holiday, although it rebounded in June to a four month high.

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