China's industrial profits rose 16.1 per cent year-on-year to 968.9 billion yuan ($154.57 billion) in the first two months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.
The industrial profits grew picked up pace as a construction boom boosted prices of building materials from steel bars to copper pipes and cement.
The growth backing expectations the world’s second-biggest economy is set to cool as Beijing clamps down on debt risks.
The industrial growth compared with a 10.8 per cent increase in December, though it lagged the 21.0 per cent jump for 2017 as a whole, the fastest pace since 2011, reports Reuters.
The higher growth from December was largely due to quickened sales with continued cost-cutting efforts, offsetting weaker prices, He Ping of the statistics bureau said in a statement along with the data.
Strong global demand also benefited China’s exporters, though rapidly escalating trade tensions with the United States are clouding the outlook for a repeat performance this year.
China’s economy grew at a surprisingly solid pace of 6.9 per cent in 2017 but momentum is seen cooling this year as the effects of the regulatory clampdown on debt risks and pollution dent output.
Profits at China’s state-owned industrial firms rose 29.6 per cent in January-February from the year before, slowing from a 45.1 per cent increase in 2017.
Tuesday’s data also showed Chinese industrial firms’ liabilities increased 6.0 per cent year-on-year by the end of February to 59.6 trillion yuan, compared with a 5.7 per cent rise for 2017.