China's industrial profits fall in January-February as virus hurts activities

Profits of China's major industrial firms dropped 38.3 percent year on year in the first two months of 2020.

Profits of China's major industrial firms slumped in the first two months of 2020 as the novel coronavirus outbreak deals a huge blow to industrial production, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday.

Profits of industrial companies with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan (US$2.84 million) totaled 410.7 billion yuan in the Jan.-Feb. period, down 38.3 percent year on year, NBS said in a statement.

Many industrial companies suspended operation during February in response to the novel coronavirus disease, resulting in a significant decline in production and sales, said NBS official Zhang Weihua.

Factors including rising costs, lower prices of industrial products and reduced profit margins for most industrial sectors also contributed to the drop, Zhang said.

Profits in 37 of the 41 industrial sectors surveyed fell compared with one year earlier, according to the NBS.

Industrial firms in the manufacturing sector saw combined profits slump by 42.7 percent year on year while firms in the mining industry registered profit decline of 21.1 percent.

Profits of state-owned industrial firms dropped 32.9 percent from one year earlier while that for private companies fell 36.6 percent.

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