BEIJING – Profits of China’s major industrial firms fell 2.4 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2019 due to the decline in sectors such as auto-manufacturing and steel, official data released on Saturday showed.
According to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics, profits during the first six months of the year stood at 2.98 trillion yuan (around $433 billion).
Industrial profits in June witnessed a 3.1-percent decline year-on-year.
The NBS calculates the indicator by combining profits of industrial firms with annual profits of more than 20 million yuan.
Of the 41 sectors analyzed, 26 showed an increase in profits, with the most notable performances witnessed in industries such as iron ore, tobacco and the manufacturing of equipment for railways, maritime transport and the aerospace sector.
The biggest slump was recorded by sectors such as the processing industries of oil, coal and other fuels, as well as automobile manufacturing.
NBS statistician Zhu Hong said the bad performance of the automobile sector was due to declining domestic demand – in 2018, domestic vehicles sales witnessed their first drop since 1990 – while the shrinking of profits in the oil processing industry was a result of growing raw material prices.
Despite the negative figures, Zhu highlighted that the decline in profits had been 3.3 percent in the first quarter and had dropped to 1.9 percent in the second, which showed that the downward trend was slowing down.
On Saturday, the NBS also released data about the industrial firms’ debt-to-asset ratio, which stood at 57 percent at the end of June, a 0.3-percent drop year-on-year.