(Adds context of month-by-month losses in industrial output, year-to-date figure)
BUENOS AIRES, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Argentina's industrial production contracted 7.9 percent in July compared with July 2015, the national statistics agency, Indec, said on Wednesday, marking the recession-hit country's sixth straight month of shrinking output.
For the first seven months of the year, Argentine industrial production shrank 4.0 percent versus the same 2015 period, Indec said. The severity of the contraction in industrial output has gotten progressively worse since Indec reported a slight shrinkage of 0.1 percent for February.
The government expects the economy to shrink by 1 percent this year and to grow by about 3.5 percent in 2017.
Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Peter Cooney