Profits earned by Chinese industrial companies fell in August at the sharpest rate in four years.
Official figures show a drop of 8.8 percent compared to last year. For the first eight months of the year profits were down 1.9 percent.
The latest sign of weakness in the world’s second largest economy comes amid rising costs, falling product prices and China’s stock market slump.
Spending by industrial firms rose by almost a quarter in August compared to last year.
The figures show the mining industry took a particular hit – with profits falling by 57.3 percent in the first eight months of the year – while state-owned firms were the worst performers among all companies.