BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The profits of China's major industrial firms reached 589.52 billion yuan (about 88 billion U.S. dollars) in March, up 13.9 percent year on year, a drastic rebound compared to the 14-percent decline in the January-February period, official data showed Saturday.
The rebound was driven by expanding production and sales. In March, the aggregated industrial value added of these firms surged by 8.5 percent year on year, 3.2 percentage points higher than that in the January-February period, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Operation revenue jumped by 13.7 percent year on year in March, 10.4 percentage points more than that in the January-February period.
Senior statistician Zhu Hong from the NBS's Industrial Bureau identified stabilizing prices as another driver of the rebound.
Producer prices rose 0.4 percent year on year in March, ending a decline for eight months in a row.
Purchasing prices for raw materials edged up 0.2 percent from a year ago, 0.1 percentage points higher than that in the January-February period.
Preliminary estimates showed that the price changes added 26.8 billion yuan to industrial profits in March, and the contribution of price changes to industrial profit growth rose by 4.5 percentage points from that in the January-February period, Zhu said.
Key sectors such as automobile, oil processing, iron and steel and chemical improved their ability in profit making.
The auto industry's profit rose by one percent year on year in March, reversing a 42-percent decline in the first two months as production and sales both firmed up due to price cuts and the launch of new models.
The profits of oil processing dropped by 13.9 percent from a year earlier, but the decline was 56.5 percentage points smaller than that in the January-February period.
Iron and steel and petrochemical sectors saw their profit decline narrowed by 43.8 percentage points and 24 percentage points respectively from the January-February period to 15.2 percent and 3.2 percent in March.
Smaller tax burdens because of value-added tax cuts, calendar effect of the Spring Festival, a lower base and higher gains on investment also elevated the profit growth in March, the NBS analysis noted.