China’s industrial profit decline

Beijing, Dec 27 (IANS) Profits of China’s major industrial firms fell 1.4 percent year on year in November, narrowing from a 4.6 percent decline posted in October, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Sunday.

Profits at industrial companies with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan ($3.1 million) totalled 672.1 billion yuan in November, Xinhua reported.

Rebounding sales, lower costs and higher investment returns helped slow the profit decrease, said He Ping, an official with the industry department at the NBS.

Revenues from the firms’ primary business rose one percent year on year in November, compared with a 1.4 percent drop in October.

Automobile and electricity industries posted marked profit growth, a major contributor to improvement in the overall industrial profits, He said.

Auto manufacturers saw their profits jump 35 percent in November, 28.6 percentage points higher than in October. Profits of power and heat suppliers soared 51 percent, up 42.6 percentage points from October.

However, the country’s industrial firms still have to cope with rapid piling up of finished products and fast increase of receivables, the money they have yet to collect from customers, He said.

Industrial profits in the first 11 months of this year dropped 1.9 percent year on year to around 5.5 trillion yuan, the NBS said.

The decline narrowed from a two percent decrease registered in the January-October period.

In the first 11 months, state-owned industrial firms saw profits slump 23 percent year on year, while privately-owned firms rose 5.3 percent.

Facing lingering downward risks, Chinese authorities have ramped up efforts to prop up the economy.

The central bank has cut benchmark interest rates five times since last November and lowered banks’ reserve requirement ratio three times since February.

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