China's electricity consumption, an important indicator of economic activity, registered faster growth last month as the service sector played a bigger role in driving the economy. Power use rose 9.9 percent year on year to 607.2 billion kilowatt-hours in July, accelerating from a 6.5-percent increase in June, according to figures from the National Energy Administration (NEA).
A robust service sector drove the upturn in power use, using 13.1 percent more electricity than the same period of last year, compared with a 11.1-percent increase in June, the NEA data showed.
The growth outpaced that for the industrial and agricultural sectors, both of which saw power use rise 9.8 percent year on year.
In the first seven months, power consumption climbed 6.9 percent year on year to 3.56 trillion kilowatt-hours, the NEA said.
China is moving steadily toward a service-driven, high-tech economy away from smokestack industries and low-end manufacturing.
While the country's industrial output, fixed-asset investment and consumption all posted slower expansion in July, its service sector continued strong growth.
The service sector production index increased 8.3 percent year on year in July, up from 7.8 percent for the same month of 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Industrial output of high-tech industries rose 12.1 percent year on year in July, exceeding that of overall output growth.
China posted forecast-beating GDP growth of 6.9 percent in the second quarter of the year, flat with the previous quarter and above the government's annual growth target of around 6.5 percent.