BEIJING, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The growth of China's industrial output slowed again in July, highlighting persistent challenges for the world's second-largest economy in restructuring its industries amid sluggish external demand, according to data released Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Industrial value-added output expanded 9.2 percent year on year in July, 0.3 percentage points lower than June's 9.5 percent and the slowest growth since May 2009.
Economists widely expected industrial activity to pick up in July, as the government has adopted a string of measures, including slashing interest rates twice in the first half of the year, to stabilize growth.
The industrial output growth data reflected a similar slowdown in the manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), which eased to 50.1 percent in July, the slowest pace in eight months, according to survey results published by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and the NBS last week.
Industrial value-added output measures the final output value of industrial production, or the value of gross industrial output minus intermediate input, such as raw materials and labor costs.
On a month-on-month basis, industrial output growth in July added 0.66 percent from June, according to the NBS.
During the first seven months of the year, industrial value-added output increased 10.3 percent year on year.
Industrial value-added output for the heavy industry sector expanded 8.8 percent from a year earlier in July, while that for the light industry sector rose 10.1 percent.
State-owned enterprises registered an annual growth rate of 4.8 percent in July, while overseas-funded companies posted a growth of 5.3 percent in the month. Joint-equity companies led the gains by growing 10.9 percent in the month.
The central and western regions of China outpaced coastal eastern regions in terms of industrial output development, with growth rates of 10.7 percent, 10.3 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.
According to the NBS data, automobile output increased 12.3 percent to reach 1.49 million units, electricity output added 2.1 percent to 435.1 billion kilowatt-hours and processed crude oil output moved up 1.1 percent to 37.6 million metric tons.