China’s December industrial profits grow at slowest pace


For 2021, industrial firms’ profits rose by a whopping 34.3% year-on-year to 8.7 trillion yuan (RM5.77 trillion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

BEIJING: Profits at China’s industrial firms grew at a slower pace in December, according to the statistics bureau, as factory-gate inflation continued to ease, pointing to cooling demand amid mounting economic challenges.

Profits rose 4.2% year-on-year, the slowest rate since April 2020, to 734.2 billion yuan (US$115.89bil or RM486.94bil), compared with a 9% gain in November.

For 2021, industrial firms’ profits rose by a whopping 34.3% year-on-year to 8.7 trillion yuan (RM5.77 trillion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

“In 2021, the profits of industrial enterprises achieved relatively fast growth, with corporate efficiency steadily improving,” Zhu Hong, a senior NBS statistician, said in a statement.

“However, we must acknowledge that growth rates dropped significantly in November and December and that downstream firms, especially small firms, still face relatively big operational pressures and that the number of loss-making firms is still high,” Zhu said.

China’s red-hot factory-gate inflation cooled for the second straight month in December, driven by a government crackdown on runaway commodity prices as Beijing scrambled to lessen the crippling economic effects of surging costs.

To stabilise a faltering economy, the People’s Bank of China has rolled out a slew of monetary policies in past weeks. It unexpectedly cut the borrowing costs of its medium-term loans for the first time since April 2020, and lower the benchmark lending rates.

The world’s second-largest economy, which is losing steam after staging an solid recovery from the pandemic, faces multiple challenges heading into 2022, due to slowing exports, a property downturn and strict Covid-19 curbs that have hit consumer spending.

China’s economy grew 4.0% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, marking its weakest expansion in one-and-a-half years. — Reuters

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