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Industrial Earnings Increase

China's industrial companies made profits of 430.3 billion yuan (US$51.8 billion) during the first seven months of this year, an increase of 53.9 percent compared with a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.


The profit growth, which was slower than the 56.7 percent rise for the first half of this year, is still much faster than the 20.6 percent rise in 2002.


Profits made by State-owned industrial firms and firms in which the State holds a majority of the stake was 218.2 billion yuan (US$26.3 billion) during the period, a year-on-year increase of 69.5 percent, the bureau said in a statement.


Industrial enterprises handed in 393.9 billion yuan (US$47.5 billion) of taxes to the State, a year-on-year increase of 18.6 percent.


During the first seven months, sales income earned by industrial firms reached 7,389.1 billion yuan (US$890.3 billion), a year-on-year increase of 27.6 percent.


Money-losing companies incurred net losses of 71.1 billion yuan (US$8.6 billion) during this period, a drop of 4.2 percent compared with a year ago.


The bureau's chief economist Yao Jingyuan said the good performance of the industrial sector was partly due to the country's increasing fixed asset investment.


China's fixed asset investment rose by 32.7 percent during the first seven months of this year to 1,875.3 billion yuan (US$225.9 billion).


Yao, who is also a spokesman for the bureau, said that this good performance was also a result of the upgrading of domestic consumption structure, the adjustment of industrial structures and price fluctuations on the international market.


He said a majority of the industrial sectors earned increased profits during the January-July period.


Earnings of crude oil and natural gas producers rose 33.6 billion yuan (US$4.0 billion) during the seven months compared with the same period last year.


Profits in the transport sector, including cars, rose 22.2 billion yuan (US$2.7 billion), while earnings of ferrous metal smelters increased 17.2 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion), he said.


Profits of chemical raw material companies rose 9.7 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion), while earnings of electrical power producers increased 7.7 billion yuan (US$927 million).


The five sectors accounted for 60 percent of the increased profits of the whole industrial sector, Yao said.


Wang Zhao, a researcher with the State Council's Development Research Center, said the fast profit growth suggests the Chinese economy has stepped into a healthy development track.


(China Daily August 27, 2003)


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