Earnings growth for China’s industrial firms cooled in July after accelerating for three straight months, reinforcing expectations the economy will slow over coming quarters as higher lending costs and property market curbs bite, Reuters reports. Profits earned by China’s industrial companies in July rose 16.5% from a year earlier to 612.7 billion yuan ($92.18 billion), slower than the previous month, the statistics bureau said on Sunday. That was the slowest rate of growth since profits rose 14% in April. Profit growth slowed in July because some companies halted production due to especially high temperatures, He Ping of the National Bureau of Statistics bureau said in a statement along with the data release. For the first seven months of the year, the firms notched up profits of 4.25 trillion yuan, a 21.2% jump from the same period last year and a touch slower than the 22% annual growth in the January-June period.