China industrial profits fall less in April as economy recovers

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BEIJING – The in of Chinese industrial enterprises narrowed in from the previous month as ’s gradually recovered from the coronavirus slump.

Industrial profits dropped 4.3 per cent in April from a year ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday. That was much smaller than the almost 35 per cent drop in March.

Profits contracted 27.4 per cent in the first four months of the year and were down 46 per cent at state-owned enterprises and 17.2 per cent at private companies. Auto industry profits rose 29.5 per cent in April after dropping 80.4 per cent in March.

The improvement in April was due to faster production and sales, as well as an significant increase in investment returns and the comparison with a weak period in 2019, NBS official Zhu Hong said in the statement.

The slow recovery of the economy looks set to continue into May, according to a set of early indicators compiled by Bloomberg. Manufacturing is also forecast to have improved.

However, deeper producer prices deflation and sluggish external demand will likely continue to drag down company profits. Prices at the factory gate declined 3.1 per cent in April and that is expected to get worse this month.

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