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China's rail freight drops in July

BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's rail freight volume, an indicator of economic activity, plunged 10.9 percent year on year to about 278.89 million tonnes in July, new data showed on Tuesday.

In the first seven months of 2015, total freight dropped 10.2 percent to 1.98 billion tonnes, widening from a drop of 10.1 percent for the first half, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The NDRC attributed the further decline to plunging demand for transportation of major commodities, including coal and metals.

The weak data came as other economic indicators also pointed to continued pressure on the country's economic growth.

China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) retreated to a five-month low of 50 in July, down from 50.2 in June. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below that represents contraction.

Value-added industrial output expanded 6 percent in July, down from 6.8 percent for June, ending a trend of steady recovery in the second quarter of this year.

China's economy posted 7-percent growth in the second quarter, unchanged from the first quarter but slower than 7.4 percent for 2014.

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