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The Associated Press

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China's economic slowdown painful despite stimulus

BEIJING (AP) â¿¿ From shopkeepers to shipbuilders, some sectors are feeling more pain from China's deepest slowdown since the 2008 global crisis than still-robust headline growth of about 8 percent might suggest. Higher spending by state industry and government-directed investment is pumping up the world's second-largest economy, but that masks the fact that the private sector is cutting jobs and scrambling to prop up plunging sales.

Data due out Friday are expected to show growth in the three months ending in June fell as low as 7.3 percent, down from the previous quarter's nearly three-year low of 8.1 percent. That is in line with this year's official 7.5 percent target. But revenues for companies in construction, shipbuilding and export manufacturing are down by up to half compared with a year ago.

The slowdown is a setback for economies around the world that were looking to China to drive demand for exports and support global growth.

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Fewer auto closings reduce US unemployment claims

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits plunged last week. But a big reason is that automakers have skipped some of their usual summer shutdowns to keep up with demand, causing fewer temporary auto layoffs.

Economists expect the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid to go back up in coming weeks.

The auto industry's recovery has helped support the struggling U.S. economy. U.S. auto sales in the first half of the year jumped 15 percent over the same period a year ago. Sales of new vehicles surged in June. Automakers also began Independence Day promotions early, lifting sales at the end of the month.

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Yahoo's interim CEO faces off with shareholders

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) â¿¿ Yahoo's restless shareholders let interim CEO Ross Levinsohn know that they won't give him much time to fix the troubled company if he gets the job on a permanent basis.

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