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Inflation measures hit sector
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Losses at China's unprofitable industrial companies almost doubled in the first two months of 2008 as measures meant to curb inflation prevented oil refiners and power generators from raising prices to meet surging costs.

The companies reported a combined 97.1-billion-yuan (US$14-billion) loss, up 98 percent from a year earlier, the National Development and Reform Commission said.

Overall, Chinese industrial companies' profits rose 16.5 percent in January and February from a year earlier, the slowest pace in almost three years, as the worst blizzards in half a century disrupted manufacturing and power generation. Oil refiners and power plants are being prevented from raising prices to help curb inflation that's at an 11-year high, Bloomberg News said.

Oil refiners posted a loss of 20.6 billion yuan for the first two months of this year, compared with a 15.6-billion-yuan profit a year earlier.

(Shanghai Daily April 1, 2008)

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