Friday, March 28, 2008

China Jan-Feb industrial profits up 16.5 pct yr/yr

Chinese industrial firms earned a combined 348.2 billion yuan ($49.6 billion) in profits in January through February, up 16.5 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

The figure marked a slowdown from annual growth of 36.7 percent in the first 11 months of 2007. The agency did not give a full-year figure for last year.

Some analysts are sceptical of the data, saying the results are driven by big monopolies that benefit from state protection.

But others say the figures give a rough guide to profitability trends. Profits grew 31 percent in 2006, around 23 percent in 2005 and 40 percent in 2004.

($1=7.0168 yuan)

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