Profit growth at China’s industrial firms relaxed for a sixth month as factories struggled to overcome high commodity prices, COVID-19 outbreaks, and part shortages. CSI 300 Index up +0.13%, CNY USD up +0.01%
- Industrial profits increased 10.1% year on year in August to 680.3 billion yuan ($105 billion) compared with a 16.4% gain in July.
- The world’s second-biggest economy rapidly rebounded from a pandemic-related slump last year. Still, momentum has slowed down in recent months, with the manufacturing sector facing high costs and production bottlenecks, and electricity rationing.
- Factory output jumped in August as its slowest rate since July 2020, weighed by domestic COVID-19 outbreaks, high raw material prices, and a consistent shortage of parts such as semiconductors.
- A sustained regulatory clampdown this year on real estate speculation and new borrowing by real estate developers has also dampened the demand for construction-related goods and services.
- Heightened commodity prices in recent months have led to deteriorated profitability of many medium-sized and downstream factories.
- China is looking to auction more industrial metals from its strategic reserves next month to cool prices in a rare release of inventories.