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China's April Industrial Profits Fall as Trade Standoff Worsens

Bloomberg News
China's April Industrial Profits Fall as Trade Standoff Worsens

(Bloomberg) -- The profits of China’s industrial companies fell in April even before President Donald Trump raised additional tariffs on imports from China, underscoring the fragility of the world’s second-largest economy.

Industrial firms’ profits declined 3.7% in April from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on Monday. That was the biggest drop since 2015, although revisions to the data mean that economists have raised doubts about the reliability of the release.

Key Insights

The drop in profits was mainly due to the comparison to high profits a year ago and also to companies trying to take advantage of a tax change on April 1, the NBS said. Companies bought industrial goods in March ahead of the tax cut and then cut back on purchases in April, lowering profitsState-owned enterprises’ profits fell 9.7% in the first four months of 2019, while private businesses’ profits increased 4.1% during the same periodAt the end of April, the corporate debt-to-asset ratio dropped by 0.5 percentage points to 56.8% compared with a year ago. The debt ratio of SOEs decreased by 1.1 percentage points to 58.4%

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Miao Han in Beijing at mhan22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at jblack25@bloomberg.net, James Mayger, Sharon Chen

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