China’s industrial profits grow at quickest monthly pace

29 November, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BEIJING: Profits at China’s industrial firms grew in October for a sixth consecutive month and at their quickest pace since early 2017, pointing to a steady recovery in the manufacturing sector after it was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Profits at Chinese industrial firms surged 28.2 per cent year-on-year in October to 642.91 billion yuan (US$97.79 billion), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed on Friday, after rising 10.1 per cent in September versus the previous year, report agencies.

That was the biggest monthly profit growth since January to February 2017. The NBS combines the results for January and February to exclude distortions caused by the week-long Lunar New Year.

Zhu Hong, a senior statistician at the NBS, said the sharp jump was helped by rising investment income. It also came from a low base in October 2019, Zhu said.

China’s industrial sector has seen an impressive recovery from the coronavirus fallout, helped by resilient demand for the country’s exports. Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday he expects Chinese economic activity to return to a reasonable range next year.

For the January to October period, industrial firms’ profits rose 0.7 per cent on an annual basis, after falling 2.4 per cent in the first nine months of 2020 compared with the same period last year.

That growth was driven by the equipment manufacturing and the electronic sectors, while the auto manufacturing sector also saw a steady recovery in profits, Zhu said in a statement.

Liabilities at industrial firms rose 6.8 per cent on-year at end-October, versus a 6.6 per cent growth as of end-September.

Earnings at China’s state-owned industrial firms were down 7.5 per cent on an annual basis for the first 10 months, compared with a 14.3 per cent on-year decline in the January to September period, the statistics bureau data showed.