China’s industrial profits sustain stable growth in first eight months

Profits of China’s major industrial firms maintained steady growth momentum in the first eight months of the year as industrial production continued to firm up and business operations kept improving, official data showed on Tuesday.

Industrial firms with annual business revenues of at least 20 million yuan (about 3.1 million U.S. dollars) saw their combined profits surging 49.5 percent year on year in the Jan.-Aug. period to 5.6 trillion yuan, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

The volume jumped 42.9 percent compared with the 2019 level, putting the average Jan.-Aug. growth for 2020 and 2021 at 19.5 percent.

In August alone, major industrial companies raked in profits of 680.28 billion yuan, up 10.1 percent year on year, NBS data showed.

Business operations of China’s industrial firms continued to improve last month, despite the impact of floods, a relatively high base and a sporadic resurgence of COVID-19 cases, said NBS senior statistician Zhu Hong.

Profits of the high-tech manufacturing sector posted a robust increase of 17.5 percent in August, up 7.4 percentage points from the average level of industrial firms, Zhu added.

In particular, the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector saw its profit soar 70.5 percent year on year, driven by strong demand for COVID-19 vaccines.

The mining and raw materials manufacturing sector continued rapid profit growth, said Zhu.

Boosted by high prices of bulk commodities, the coal industry saw its profit increase by 241 percent, up 30 percentage points from a month ago. Profits of oil and gas exploitation industry surged 257 percent, and those of nonferrous metals and chemical sectors rose by 98.9 percent and 66.5 percent, respectively.

Zhu also highlighted a steady recovery in profits of consumer goods manufacturers such as chemical fiber and textile industries, due to rebounding market demand and rises in product prices.

Meanwhile, Zhu cautioned against multiple challenges likely to impact companies’ profits, including a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, high commodity prices and chip shortages.

In the next stage, a slew of measures will be taken to further shore up growth of industrial firms, including enhancing epidemic control, ensuring supplies of commodities as well as cutting taxes and fees, Zhu added.