SHANGHAI – The profits of China’s major industrial companies fell by 2.1 percent year-on-year during the first nine months of 2019, 0.4 percent more than in the first eight months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Saturday.
Industrial profits during the Jan-Sep period amounted to 4.59 trillion yuan ($649.7 billion), according to NBS data.
NBS statistician Zhu Hong said the decline was mainly due to factors such as the decrease in the factory price of industrial products and the slowdown in sales growth.
It may also have been partly caused due to ongoing the trade war between China and the United States which escalated in late August, and which could come to an end in the coming weeks.
In the month of September, industrial profits fell by 5.3 percent year-on-year to 575 billion yuan.
This was the second straight month of declines, following a decrease of two percent in August. In July, by contrast, industrial profits had increased by 2.6 percent.
The NBS calculates the indicator by combining profits of industrial firms with annual profits of more than 20 million yuan.
The decline was more pronounced for state-owned enterprises whose profits fell by 9.6 percent in the first nine months of the year.
The most affected sectors were oil, coal and other fuel processing industries, where profits fell by 53.5 percent in the months between January and September.