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China's industrial profits rise 1.1% in May after April drop

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China's industrial profits rise 1.1% in May after April drop
FILE PHOTO: A labourer works at a Maanshan Iron and Steel factory workshop in Hefei, Anhui province October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer   -   Copyright  Jianan Yu(Reuters)
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BEIJING (Reuters) – Profits earned by China’s industrial firms rose 1.1% in May from a year earlier, bucking a months-long downtrend, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

The May figure compared with a 3.7% fall in profits in April.

For the first five months of 2019, profits dropped 2.3% on an annual basis to 2.38 trillion yuan (272.5 billion pounds), compared with a 3.4% fall in the first four months.

Industrial firms’ liabilities rose 5.3% from a year earlier to 64.39 trillion yuan by end-May, down from a 5.5% rise as of end-April.

Profit growth for China’s industrial companies has been softening since the second half of 2018 as the economy slowed and producer prices weakened. The escalating U.S.-China trade war and cooling global growth have added to the pressure.

The data covers companies with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan from their main operations.

(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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