17:04 GMT06 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Total profits of Chinese industrial firms in May went up 6 percent to 582.3 billion yuan ($82 billion), marking the first year-on-year increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, media in Hong Kong reported on Sunday, citing data from China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

    According to the South China Morning Post newspaper, citing NBS, the increase in industrial profits could be a consequence of a significant drop in purchase price for industrial products as well as post-coronavirus reboot of several sectors, including petroleum processing, electric power, chemical industry and steel.

    "Although the profits of industrial firms in May has been positive with a growth for the first time since this year, the market demand under the influence of the pandemic is still weak, and it needs further observation to see if profit recovery could continue," senior NBS statistician Zhu Hong said, as quoted by the outlet.

    Overall in the first five months of 2020, industrial profits decreased by 19.3 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the report. Ownership-wise, profits of state-owned industrial enterprises decreased by 39.3 percent year-on-year from January-May to 440.2 billion yuan, comparing to the 11 percent profit drop in private-sector industrial companies.

    This signifies somewhat of an improvement from an overall 27.4 percent decrease year-on-year during the first four months and from the record 38.3 percent decrease year-on-year in the first two months of 2020.

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    Economy, companies, pandemic, China
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