China industrial profits fall by the most in two years

Emma Haslett
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Car manufacturers were one of the few winners (Source: Getty)

More bad news for China's industrial sector: profits in the industry fell to 676.12 billion yuan (£69.8bn) in November, 4.2 per cent down on last year's figure and the biggest annual decline since August 2012, official statistics showed today.

The National Bureau of Statistics put the fall down to a drop in sales, as well as the falling prices of coal and oil. In fact, profits in the oil and gas industries fell 44.4 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively on a year earlier.

However, the technology sector continued to buck the trend, with profits in telecoms rising 20.7 per cent, while profits in electronics and machinery rose 15.1 per cent and car manufacturers rose 16.7 per cent.

Although the Chinese government has taken steps to counter headwinds in recent months, data coming out of its economy suggests its flagship manufacturing and industrials sectors are continuing to be hit by a combination of over-capacity, factory gate deflation and a slump in the housing market. In December, a factory production index fell to its lowest in seven months.

However, the Shanghai Composite Index has followed recent gains in world markets, rallying 2.8 per cent yesterday, on top of a two-day gain of 6.2 per cent.

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