China's industrial profits fall 22.9% in Jan-Feb y/y

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BEIJING, March 27 (Reuters) - Profits at industrial firms in China declined 22.9% in the first two months of 2023 from the year before, official data showed on Monday, as the factory sector struggles to claw its way out of the slump caused by COVID-related disruptions.

The decline followed a 4.0% fall in industrial profits for the whole of 2022, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed, pointing to a downbeat start to the year for factories at large.

Industrial profit numbers cover firms with annual revenues of at least 20 million yuan ($2.91 million) from their main operations.

Combined January and February data were published for most Chinese economic indicators to flatten out distortions from the shifting timing of the Lunar New Year.

($1 = 6.8675 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Qiaoyi Li, Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes)