China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) posted a milder decline in profits in the first half of this year as the economy showed signs of stabilization, official data showed July 25.
Profits fell 8.5 percent year on year to 1.13 trillion yuan ($169 billion) in the first six months, narrowing from a 9.6-percent slump in the January-May period, according to statistics from the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
In the first half, profits of SOEs under central government control dropped 9 percent from a year earlier, while those of locally administered SOEs slipped 7.1 percent, both milder than the decreases in the first five months, the MOF said.
SOEs in the coal industry reported profits for the first time this year, but steel and non-ferrous metal industries continued to suffer losses.
SOEs in the oil and chemical sectors posted substantial profit declines compared with a year earlier, while pharmaceutical and real estate construction companies posted big profit increases.
SOE revenues edged down 0.1 percent to 21.4 trillion yuan, narrowing from the 0.6-percent drop in the January-May period.
An economic downturn has put pressure on China’s SOEs, which are at the forefront of an official drive to reform the country’s growth model and cut overcapacity.
Although downward pressure persists, data suggest stabilization in the economy. China’s gross domestic product grew 6.7 percent year on year in the second quarter, slightly faster than expected and stable from the first quarter.
In the first five months, industrial output expanded 6.2 percent year on year in June, accelerating from a 6-percent increase in May.