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China industrial output up 14.7% in July
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The industrial output of Chinese enterprises with annual sales above 5 million yuan ($728,608), was up 14.7 percent in July. The growth rate, however, was down 3.3 percentage points year on year, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures revealed on Thursday.

The industrial output was also down 1.3 percentage points month on month, according to NBS.

Zhu Baoliang, State Information Center deputy director, said the global economic slowdown had reduced demand for exports, the major reason why the industrial growth had dipped in the country.

Raw materials and labor prices had also been rising, making production costs higher for manufacturers. This was another reason for the slowed growth.

In addition, Zhu explained the seasonal factor had a part to play as July was a hot period. Traditionally, it was the month when many factories halted production, conducted checks on manufacturing equipment and gave their employees a summer break.

Other factors such as the disastrous earthquake in the country's southwest in May, plus the nation's energy-saving campaign and heightened environmental protection, had all affected industrial production.

Zhu added that despite the July slowdown, the country's industrial economy had maintained an overall stable and fast growth as the output was up 16.1 percent in the first seven months compared to the same period last year.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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