Economic Watch: China’s industrial profits dip, but structure betters

Xinhua (27 November 2022) –  China’s industrial profits declined on multiple factors, but continue to see improvement in business profit structure, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Sunday.

Major industrial firms with annual main business revenues of at least 20 million yuan (about 2.8 million U.S. dollars) each saw their combined profits dip 3 percent year on year in the first 10 months of the year to reach about 6.98 trillion yuan, data from the NBS showed. The combined revenues of these firms sustained growth during the period, rising 7.6 percent year on year to 111.78 trillion yuan.

A total of 19 out of 41 major industries saw growth in profits in the January-October period, according to the NBS. Senior NBS statistician Zhu Hong attributed the revenue growth moderation and profit slip of industrial firms to multiple factors, including the scattered and rising COVID-19 cases at home and the reversal of positive growth in the producer price index, which measures costs for goods at the factory gate.

Despite the overall profit decline, the business profit structure of industrial firms continues to optimize, with some firms in the midstream and downstream of the industry chain posting an evident uptick in profit margins, Zhu said. From January to October, profits of the equipment manufacturing industry climbed 3.2 percent, rallying for six months in a row.

The sector’s profits accounted for 32.2 percent of the total during the period, expanding by 7.1 percentage points compared with that in the first two months, revealing a better industry structure, Zhu noted. Zhu also highlighted the 0.8-percent profit growth of the automobile manufacturing sector, which is the first positive cumulative growth seen in this sector in 2022, as policies to boost car consumption continue to take effect and car sales have maintained fast expansion. The electricity generation industry drove up the most growth of industrial profits, according to Zhu. The sector reported a year-on-year profit growth of 28.1 percent from January to October, lifting the total growth by 1 percentage point.

Foreign-invested firms and small and medium-sized industrial companies saw their profit margins in the first 10 months turn for the better as a result of policy incentives, data showed. Despite the positive signals, Zhu still cautioned against challenges, including the domestic COVID-19 resurgence and risks of a global economic recession. To consolidate the recovery momentum of the industrial economy, Zhu said more efforts should be put into efficiently coordinating epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, and advancing the implementation of pro-growth policies and measures. RSS

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