China’s industrial output grew 13.4% year-on-year in July, its slowest growth rate in nearly a year, while consumer inflation rose to 3.3%, its highest level in almost two years, Bloomberg reported. Output was hit by government policies aimed at controlling real-estate speculation and promoting energy efficiency, prompting concern that Beijing maintain flexibility in its property and energy curbs. Consumer inflation was lifted by low base effects, but rising food costs are also to blame – cropland has been damaged by widespread flooding. Other data released showed that urban fixed-asset investment rose 24.9% in the first seven months of the year, down from 25.5% growth in the first six months; retail sales growth also slowed, to 17.9% in July from 18.3% in June.
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