BEIJING — The profit decline posted by China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) eased in the first four months this year, as the economy showed signs of stabilization, official data showed on May 25.
Profits fell 8.4 percent year on year to 652.26 billion yuan ($98.8 billion) during the January-April period, according to statistics from the Ministry of Finance.
The pace of decline narrowed from the 13.8-percent fall registered in the first three months.
Profits of SOEs under central government control dropped 6.6 percent while those of locally-administered SOEs slumped by 14.2 percent compared with one year earlier.
SOEs in the sectors of oil, chemicals and construction posted substantial profit declines, while the coal, steel and non-ferrous metal industries continued to suffer losses. However, transportation, petrochemicals and pharmaceutical companies posted big profit increases.
SOE revenues edged down 1.7 percent to 13.5 trillion yuan, decelerating from the 3-percent drop in the January-March period.
An economic downturn, which trimmed China’s GDP growth to 6.7 percent in the first quarter, has put pressure on SEOs.
Although downward pressure persisted, data suggests signs of stabilization in the economy. The purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector, a gauge of factory activity, was 50.1 in April, above the crucial 50-mark separating expansion from contraction for two consecutive months.