BEIJING – The profits of the main Chinese industrial companies rose by 10.3 percent in 2018, representing a significant slowdown in the increase compared to the previous year, when they recorded growth of 21 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS) reported on Monday.
The profits of major industrial firms reached 6.63 trillion yuan ($9.84 million) in 2018.
For the compilation of this indicator, the NBS only takes into account industrial companies with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan ($2.97 million).
Monthly data for December were also disclosed, showing a fall of 1.9 percent year-on-year and representing the second decline of this type in three years after the one recorded in November.
Thirty-two of the 41 sectors listed by the NBS showed a year-on-year increase in profits in 2018.
The main contributors to the rise in profits were the extraction of oil and natural gas, the non-metallic mineral products industry, the smelting and rolling of ferrous metals and chemical raw materials and their manufacturing.
The NBS statement said that supply-side structural reforms to the Chinese economy continued to advance in depth.
It also added that the debt ratio of industrial companies fell 0.5 percentage points in 2018 to end the year at 56.5 percent.
NBS statistician He Ping pointed out that the debt ratio of state-owned companies fell by 1.6 percentage points to 58.7 percent.
Despite the evident deceleration of profits, the statistician said that profits are maintaining rapid growth.
The Chinese economy has been hit by the economic slowdown – the same trend that is affecting the global situation – and by the trade war with the United States, which began to affect the statistics in the last months of the year, especially in December.
During the current 90-day pause in the trade war, the US and China are trying to reach a deal to head off the imposition of further tariffs.
China’s economic growth last year was its weakest in almost three decades.