Profits decline at Chinese industrial firms narrowed in September, but the outlook remains dim. Profits for China's major industrial firms fell 0.1 percent year on year in September, narrowing from the 8.8-percent decline posted in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.
The better performance was mainly due to slower financial expense growth, a decline in business taxes and surcharges, and cheaper raw materials, said He Ping, an official with the Department of Industry at the NBS.
Though the figure showed improvement from last month, the outlook for industrial firms is still dim due to downward pressure. The prime operating revenue for industrial firms declined 0.5 percent year on year in September, the first time in many years, indicating increasing difficulties in production and business operation, He said.
Profits at industrial companies with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan (about 3.1 million U.S. dollars) totaled 535.8 billion yuan in September. During the first nine months, industrial profits of these firms dropped 1.7 percent year on year to around 4.3 trillion yuan, the NBS said.
The decline narrowed from the 1.9-percent decrease registered in the Jan.-Aug. period. State-owned industrial companies saw their profits plummeting 24.4 percent during the first nine months, while private firms offered a brighter outlook, with profits rising 7.1 percent in the same period.
Facing lingering downward risks, Chinese authorities have ramped up efforts to prop up the economy. The People's Bank of China lowered both the benchmark interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) Friday, marking the fifth RRR reduction in nearly nine months and the sixth round of interest cuts in nearly 11 months.