China has released its economic data for July, and the numbers were not too rosy as new outbreaks of COVID-19 and floods dealt a heavy blow to business operations.

According to Raymond Yeung, chief economist for Greater China at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, China's July data indicate the economy is "losing steam very fast," adding the resurgence of the COVID-19 Delta variant has put extra risk to the current month's activities, Bloomberg reported.

Retail sales in the world's second-biggest economy were up 8.5% for the month from the previous year, but missing analysts' estimates of 11.5%, based on a survey conducted by Reuters.

Car-related sales, the biggest segment of retail revenues in terms of value, was the only category that retreated in July, shedding 1.8% year-over-year.

China has imposed tighter social restrictions to contain its latest outbreak in several cities, impacting the services sector, especially hospitality and travel in the country.

China's sluggish economic figures in the first half of the year add to signs the world's recovery is not happening as many market observers have expected.

U.S. consumer confidence was down early this month to its lowest level in almost 10 years as Americans became worried about inflation and the recent increase in Delta variant infections.

Based on real-time data, most economies in Asia have been badly affected as consumers cut down on spending and supply chains are disrupted.

China's industrial output rose nearly 6.5% year-over-year last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday. Market observers had expected production to rally to almost 8% after climbing 8.3% from the month earlier.

In terms of fixed asset investment, China's economy soared 10.3% for the first seven months of 2021, below the estimates of 11.3% year-on-year growth for the January-July period, Reuters data showed.

Export expansion, a major driver of China's strong recovery from the pandemic slump early last year, also slowed in July, based on the latest figures.

Meanwhile, economists have trimmed their gross domestic product forecasts for China, considering the latest wave of travel curbs and local community lockdowns in the face of the spread in the last two months of the Delta variant in China.