RTTNews - Industrial production in China picked up in July, driven by weak global demand, while fixed asset investment surged. On the other hand, exports fell for the ninth consecutive month and consumer prices declined.

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics said industrial output climbed 10.8% year-on-year in July, faster than the 10.7% growth in June, but lower than economists' expectations for a 11.7% rise.

For the first seven months of the year, industrial output climbed 7.5% year-on-year, down 8.6 percentage points from the same period last year, but up 0.5 percentage points from the first six months.

Urban fixed-asset investment between January and July rose 32.9% from a year earlier, slower than the 33.6% increase recorded through June. The growth rate was also lower than the median estimate for a 34% increase.

Retail sales climbed 15.2% in July from a year earlier, faster than a 15% rise in June, but declined 8.1 percentage points from the previous year. In the first seven months of the year, retail sales grew 15%, down by 6.7 percentage points over the same period of last year, but maintained the same level seen in the first half of this year.

Consumer prices dropped 1.8% year-on-year in July, after a 1.7% fall in the preceding month. Economists had expected a 1.7% drop.

At the same time, producer prices fell 8.2% annually in July, quicker than a 7.8% fall in the preceding month, but slower than the 8.3% fall expected by economists.

Further, a report from the General Administration of Customs said the trade surplus stood at US$10.6 billion in July.

Exports were down for the ninth consecutive month in July, declining 23% from the previous year, after a 21.4% fall in June. Imports fell 14.9%, faster than a 13.2% drop seen in the preceding month. For the first seven months of the year, the country recorded a trade surplus of US$107.49 billion.

Elsewhere, a report released by the People's Bank of China showed that the M2 money supply rose 28.42% in July from a year earlier. New loans issued by banks dropped to 355.9 billion yuan in July from 1.53 trillion yuan in the preceding month.

Adding to the optimism surrounding the economy, Goldman Sachs reportedly upgraded its economic forecast for China today. Citing robust momentum, Goldman Sachs raised the Chinese growth forecast to 9.4% this year from its earlier estimate of 8.3%. In 2010, the economy is expected to expand 11.9%.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com