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China Factory Slowdown Raises Pressure for Easing

China’s industrial-output growth unexpectedly slowed in July to a three-year low while investment and retail sales missed estimates, raising pressure on Premier Wen Jiabao to step up efforts to support expansion.

Factory production increased 9.2 percent in July from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing, below all 32 analyst forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Inflation cooled for a fourth month and producer prices fell for a fifth month, separate reports showed.