BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) - Profits of China's major industrial firms maintained an upward momentum in September as production demands have gradually warmed up amid solid efforts to contain COVID-19 and bolster economic development, official data showed Tuesday.
Profits of the country's major industrial firms totaled 646.43 billion yuan (about 96.5 billion U.S. dollars) in September, increasing by 10.1 percent year on year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
The growth narrowed 9 percentage points from August, said NBS senior statistician Zhu Hong.
Despite pressure from the COVID-19 epidemic as well as the grim and complex domestic and international environment, China's industrial companies saw a steady recovery in their profits as supply and demand further improved, Zhu said.
In the third quarter, profits in the industrial sector rose 15.9 percent year on year, widening by 11.1 percentage points from that in the second quarter.
A total of 31 of the 41 surveyed industrial sectors reported profit growth in the period, with 24 sectors registering a double-digit increase, said Zhu.
Auto manufacturing, nonferrous metal smelting and rolling, and general-purpose equipment manufacturing were among the sectors that saw the most prominent recovery, with profits in the auto industry expanding 53.8 percent year on year, extending the 26-percent increase in the second quarter.
Zhu attributed the growth to policy support in advancing infrastructure construction and boosting consumption, as well as warming investment and increasing consumer demands.
Earlier data from the China Passenger Car Association showed the country's sales of passenger vehicles, including sedans, sport-utility vehicles, minivans and multipurpose vehicles, rose 7.3 percent year on year to 1.91 million units in September.
Meanwhile, the raw material manufacturing industry reversed the downward trend by gaining 23 percent year on year in the third quarter, the NBS data showed.
Despite the recovery, industrial enterprises still face pressure in maintaining profit growth as revenue and profit growth in the first nine months remained in the negative territory, Zhu said, citing the 2.4-percent contraction of the industrial profits during the period.
To propel continuous improvements of the industrial economy, Zhu called for more efforts to stimulate the vitality of market entities and help enterprises solve difficulties in production and operation.
Profits of industrial firms may experience fluctuations in the next few months, but the adaptability of domestic enterprises remains relatively strong amid improving demand and encouraging policy environment, said Zhou Maohua, an analyst with China Everbright Bank.