China's industrial companies made 291.8 billion yuan (US$35.2 billion) in profits during the first five months of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed yesterday.
It is an increase of 62.8 percent from 2002. And the profit growth - which was slower than a year-on-year 75.7 percent rise between January and April and a 94.3 percent surge in the first quarter - was still much faster than the 20.6 percent rise recorded for the whole of last year.
Profits from State-owned industrial firms and firms in which the State holds a majority share hit 153.3 billion yuan (US$18.5 billion) during the period, a year-on-year increase of 89.9 percent.
"Profits made by a majority of the industrial sectors increased obviously," the bureau said.
Earnings of crude oil and natural gas producers rose 30.7 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) during the five months compared with a year ago.
Profits in the transport sector rose 17.9 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion), while earnings of ferrous metal smelters increased 12.7 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion).
Profits of chemical raw material companies rose 6.9 billion yuan (US$831 million).
The crude oil, natural gas, transport, ferrous metal, raw chemical material and electricity sectors combined to account for 64 percent of the increase in profits for the industrial sector, the bureau said.
Wang Zhao, a researcher with the Development Research Center under the State Council, said the good performance of the industrial sector indicates that the Chinese economy is developing in a healthy way.
"It was a result of the country's implementation of pro-active fiscal policy and a sound monetary policy," he said.
Niu Li, a senior economist with the State Information Center, said the industrial sector will continue to make more profits in the coming months due to the country's strong economic development.
"In spite of the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak, the economy is expected to rise about 8.3 percent this year," he said.
The statistics bureau said during the first five months, sales income earned by industrial firms reached 5,016.1 billion yuan (US$604.3 billion), a year-on-year increase of 27.3 percent.
The net loss suffered by money-losing companies was 55.3 billion yuan (US$6.7 billion) during the period, a drop of 4 percent compared with a year ago.
Industrial enterprises handed in 273.8 billion yuan (US$33 billion) of taxes to the State, a year-on-year increase of 18.1 percent.
(China Daily June 25, 2003)