BEIJING – The profits of China’s major industrial firms dropped by 1.7 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2019 on account of the downward trend in profits of state-owned conglomerates and a slump in manufacturing returns.
The country’s main industrial companies earned 4.02 trillion yuan ($563.47 billion) between January and August, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday.
Industrial profits declined 2 percent year-on-year in August in contrast to the 2.6 percent increase registered last month.
For the compilation of this indicator, the NBS only takes into account industrial companies with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan.
Of the 41 sectors surveyed, 28 recorded an increase in their profits, including the manufacture of electrical machinery and equipment, the production and supply of electricity and heating and the manufacture of special equipment
The remaining 13 sectors posted lower profits than in the first eight months of 2019 especially in sectors such as the processing industries of oil, coal and other fuels and the smelting and pressing of ferrous metals.
NBS statistician Zhu Hong noted that the declines in profits of key industries, including automotive, electronics or non-ferrous metals, eased as did those of firms with overseas investment or from the semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau, or Taiwan (considered a rebel province by Beijing).
The NBS also released data of the debt-to-asset ratio of industrial enterprises, which stood at 56.8 percent –the same as that at the end of last month, but a decrease of 0.5 percentage points compared to the end of July 2018.