China says economy making steady progress despite weak data

A Chinese official has tried to reassure companies and investors the country's growth is stable despite unexpectedly weak data for July, saying the world's second-largest economy is "making steady progress."

The spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday the weakness in factory output, imports and other activity in July was due largely to summer flooding and other one-time factors.

Sheng Laiyun said at a news conference, "The trend is good. Even though economic growth dropped slightly, the economy is stable and making steady progress, and the steady trend toward improvement has not changed."

The weak July data prompted concern growth might be weakening despite repeated government stimulus efforts.