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China Profit Rise Masks State Enterprise Weakness

Chimney stacks of a power plant in Xingtai, China
Chimney stacks of a power plant in Xingtai, ChinaPhotograph by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Good news for China’s usually lumbering state-owned enterprises? Even as overall economic growth in China looks set to slow further, big industrial companies saw their profits grow 12.3 percent in the first five months of this year, to 2.08 trillion yuan ($338 billion), faster than the 11.4 percent registered January through April. Profits in May rose 15.5 percent over the same month a year earlier, as compared with 9.3 percent growth in April.

All told, 33 industries, of 41 surveyed in total, reported an increase in profit growth, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced June 27. The survey covers companies with at least 20 million yuan ($3.22 million) in annual revenue.