China's industrial profit growth quickens despite COVID-19 resurgence
Profits of China's major industrial firms expanded at a faster pace in the first quarter of 2022 despite increasing challenges, such as the COVID-19 epidemic, official data showed on Wednesday.
Profits of the firms each with annual main business revenue of at least 20 million yuan (US$3.05 million) grew 8.5 percent year on year in the January-March period, accelerating from the 5-percent pace recorded in the first two months, said the National Bureau of Statistics.
The combined profits of those firms hit 1.96 trillion yuan in the first quarter, the data showed.
China's industrial profits saw steady growth in the period as the country implemented tax and fee cuts, and adopted multiple bailout policies to help relieve enterprises' pressure, said Zhu Hong, a senior statistician with the NBS.
In the first three months, 24 out of 41 industries saw a year-on-year expansion in their profits, while 15 others logged declines.
Combined profits in the sector of coal mining and washing industry jumped by 1.89 times from a year ago, while that in the petroleum and natural gas extraction sector surged by 1.51 times, NBS data showed.
China's efforts in boosting energy supplies and the sharp rise in commodity prices caused by international geopolitical conflicts have lifted the profitability of mining industries, which also pushed up the rapid growth of the overall industrial profits, Zhu said.
Zhu also warned of increasing pressure from imported inflation and sporadic resurgences of COVID-19 in the country, as they have brought challenges to the production and operation of industrial enterprises.
Profit growth in the first quarter slowed by 3.8 percentage points from the fourth quarter in 2021, according to the NBS.
China will continue making efforts to ensure supply and price stability, guarantee smooth logistics, stabilize the industrial chain and supply chain, stimulate the vitality of the market entities, and create more favorable conditions for the sustained and healthy development of its industrial economy, Zhu said.
Wednesday's data also showed that revenues of those major firms went up 12.7 percent year on year to 31.27 trillion yuan in the first three months.
At the end of March, their assets totaled 144.61 trillion yuan, up 10.6 percent year on year, while their liabilities reached 81.68 trillion yuan, up 10.5 percent. The ratio of liabilities to assets stood at 56.5 percent, unchanged from a year ago.