Vehicle sales in China rose 25% in July from a year earlier, the country's official industry association told Reuters on Friday.

In the first seven months, sales of all vehicles climbed 11.3% to 3.22 million units, according to official data provided to the news agency by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Sales of passenger cars alone were up 39.6% in July, the association reportedly said.

Reuters noted that car sales in China grew 15% in 2004 after almost doubling in 2003, hit by government-ordered credit tightening steps to cool an economy in danger of overheating.