Industrial production measures output at factories, workshops and mines, and the figure also slowed from a 6.8% increase in June.
Retail sales rose 10.5 per cent in July, while fixed-asset investment excluding rural households climbed 11.2 per cent in the first seven months.
But the data showed state spending on social security and employment benefits rose the fastest in the first seven months of the year, climbing 21.4 percent from a year-earlier period to 1.17 trillion yuan.
The disappointing data are likely to add downward pressure on the value of the currency, which has become more market-driven, analysts said. In June, it rose 0.64% from the month before.
The year-to-date growth is running ahead of the global Energy Agency’s latest forecast for Chinese demand in 2015 at 3.2 percent, which it bases on gains in gasoline, jet fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumption.
Data showed industrial production expanded less than analysts estimated.
The downturn is even affecting sales of air conditioners.
China’s weakening yuan could also draw down oil demand growth, although the diminishing purchasing power of the currency might only slow strategic reserve stockpiling of crude oil and not underlying consumption.
Industrial output in China’s western regions increased by 7.9 percent in July, trailed by 7.4 percent in central areas and 6 percent in eastern regions.
Preliminary implied demand for July 2014 was revised up from 9.57 million bpd based on reported and implied revisions to government data.
Retail sales held steady in July, as the growth rate was just 0.1 percentage point lower than a month ago.
A year-long slump in the housing market has dragged on the economy, which is widely expected to post its worst performance in a quarter of a century this year.
Yet in a sign the real estate market was not on a verge of a strong recovery, income earned by governments from selling state land plunged 38.2 percent in the first seven months as a gloomy outlook dampened developers’ appetites for land. Real estate investment, which directly affects about 40 other business sectors in China, is considered to be a crucial growth driver.
New construction fell 16.8% during the January to July period from a year ago, worsening from a 15.8% annual drop in the first half, the NBS data showed.