New Figures Shows Slowdown of Chinese Economy

China says its industrial growth declined slightly last month, as policymakers implemented steps aimed at keeping its economy from overheating.

The National Bureau of Statistics says factory output for July rose 13.4 percent compared to a year earlier, the lowest levels so far in 2010. Investment in fixed assets, such as factories, rose nearly 24.9 percent over the first seven months of this year, compared with a 25.5 percent rate over the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the bureau says inflation spiked 3.3 percent last month compared to last year, while retail sales rose 17.9 percent, down from the 18.3 percent figure.

Economists blamed the jump in consumer prices on widespread flooding across China, wage hikes and increases in international grain prices.

Beijing has begun curbing stimulus measures enacted last year to guide the world's third-largest economy through the global recession. Policymakers have tightened credit and imposed stricter policies on bank lending to curb soaring property prices and keep inflation in check.

New loans in July totaled just $78 billion, far less than the $88 billion previously forecasted.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters