[BEIJING] China's factory output rose 6.0 per cent in July from a year earlier, missing market forecasts and reinforcing expectations that the economy is in need of fresh stimulus to prevent a deeper slowdown.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 6.6 per cent rise, easing from 6.8 per cent in June.
Fixed-asset investment, a crucial driver of the world's second-largest economy, rose 11.2 per cent in the first seven months compared with the year-ago period, again below expectations, the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday.
Economists had expected a 11.5 per cent rise, edging up from June.
Retail sales rose 10.5 per cent in July from the same time last year, slightly below forecasts for 10.6 per cent growth, which would have been even with June's reading.
The sluggish growth figures followed disappointing trade and inflation earlier this month that showed persistent weakness in the world second-largest economy.