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China’s industrial profits continue to decline amid tightening Covid curbs

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Profits at industrial firms in China continued to decline in the first 10 months of the year, weighed down by Covid restrictions and falling factory-gate prices.


Industrial profits in the January-to-October period fell 3.0% from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Sunday. That compared with a decline of 2.3% in the first nine months.


The NBS hasn’t released single-month data since June.


“The structure is in general improved while the profit is dropping,” said in an interpretation statement with the data. “The Covid outbreaks in China and the recession risks of the global may add more pressure to the recovery of industrial profits.”


China, industrial profits Caption


Industrial profits decline


Covid restrictions were tightened in October as outbreaks began to spread in regions including Guangdong province, a manufacturing hub, curbing business and consumer activity. Global demand has also slowed rapidly, leading to an unexpected contraction in exports last month.


Businesses are struggling to raise prices as deflation hits, putting a squeeze on profit margins. Producer prices contracted for the first time in almost two years in October, largely due to falling global commodity prices and weakening domestic demand as Covid restrictions spread.


While authorities introduced a series of measures to make Covid controls more targeted and reduce their impact on the economy, a surge in cases to a record last week has prompted major cities including Beijing and Guangzhou to tighten mobility curbs. The prospect of a difficult and slow reopening of the country has led some economists to downgrade their growth forecasts.

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