Chinese industrial profits just logged the largest annual decline on record

Adding to concerns about a steep slowdown in China’s economy, profits at the nation’s industrial firms tumbled in August, logging the largest year-on-year decline since records began in 2011.

According to data released by the NBS on Monday, profits fell by 8.8%, 156.6 billion yuan, in the 12 months to August — a significantly steeper decline than the 2.9% contraction seen in July.

Taking a more extended view, between January and August, profits slipped 1.9% compared to the same period a year earlier — nearly double the 1% drop recorded in the seven months to July.

Among 41 industrial sectors, 31 experienced year-on-year growth of profit in the first eight months of this year and 10 recorded drops, according to the NBS.

The bureau also stated that higher costs and lower investment returns also acted to drag down the profits of firms.

Financial payments of industrial firms increased by 23.9% in the 12 months to August, up from a decline of 3% in July, while investment returns increased by just 4.12 billion yuan compared to an 11.04 billion yuan increase in July.

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