PROFIT growth at China's industrial companies continued to moderate in December, reflecting an economic slowdown as the country tried to accelerate reforms.
Industrial profit expanded 6 percent from a year earlier to 942.5 billion yuan (US$153.2 billion) last month, down from the rate of 9.7 percent in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said today.
China's manufacturers reported a profit of 6.28 trillion yuan in 2013, up 12.2 percent on an annual basis.
He Ping, a researcher at the bureau, said the recent moderations were due to various reasons including a high comparative base, weak demand at both home and abroad, and falling prices of some products.
But China's manufacturing sector delivered a good performance last year as a whole, as its profit growth rate picked up from a mere 5.3 percent in 2012 thanks to the recovery in the world's second-largest economy.
According to the bureau, profit growth was mainly bolstered by five sectors: power generation, automobiles, petroleum, ferrous metal smelting and non-metallic mineral products.
An HSBC preliminary survey showed last week that China's manufacturing activity may contract for the first time in six months in January.
The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, the earliest available indicator of China's industrial sector's vitality, dropped to 49.6 in January from December's final reading of 50.5 because of sluggish production growth and falling employment.