Green Asia

China’s industrial profits fall 7.8% in Jan-Oct

BEIJING :Profits at China’s industrial firms fell 7.8 per cent in the first 10 months of 2023 from a year earlier, official data showed on Monday, as a shaky post-pandemic economic recovery struggles to gain momentum.

The slide followed a 9 per cent profit decline in the first nine months, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed.

China’s economic recovery has been uneven this year, with a brisk start in the first quarter fading quickly in the second before gaining momentum in the third.

Last month’s mixed picture only added to the uncertainty as prolonged distress in China’s property sector, local government debt risks, soft domestic and global demand, and geopolitical tensions have unnerved investors and bruised corporate profits.

Facing a double whammy of macro headwinds and supply glut, LONGi Green Energy Technology Co, a major domestic solar energy manufacturer, saw its third quarter net profit plummet 44.1 per cent to 2.5 billion yuan ($346.7 million).

With a burst of policy support measures since June having had a modest effect on reviving growth, policymakers are under rising pressure to roll out more stimulus, especially as China faces mounting debt risks and structural challenges.

“Transforming the economic growth mode is more important than pursuing a high growth rate,” China’s central bank governor said in a speech this month, suggesting an urgent need for longer-term structural reforms as investment-led growth loses steam.

State-owned firms posted a 9.9 per cent decline in earnings in the first 10 months, foreign firms recorded a 10.2 per cent slide and private-sector companies saw profits down 1.9 per cent, according to a breakdown of the NBS data.

Industrial profits data covers firms with annual revenues of at least 20 million yuan ($2.74 million) from their main operations.

($1 = 7.2922 Chinese yuan)

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