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China's August industrial profits down 0.6 pct

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BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The profits of Chinese industrial businesses reached 482.56 billion yuan (78.45 billion U.S. dollars) in August, down 0.6 percent year on year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Saturday.

The profit growth slowed sharply compared to the 13.5-percent growth in July.

NBS statistician He Ping said that the slowdown was due to rising costs and slower investment returns, which grew only 3.2 percent year on year last month.

Profit growth in the steel, chemicals and electronics sectors slowed more obviously in August, he said. Meanwhile, the high base figure from August last year also contributed to the month.

NBS data also showed that the total profits of industrial companies during the first eight months reached 3.83 trillion yuan, up 10 percent year on year though the growth rate decelerated by 1.7 percentage points from the January-July period.

During the first eight months, 36 of the 41 sectors surveyed reported year-on-year profit rises, with five other sectors seeing drops. Profits in coal mining declined 46.1 percent.

Private firms saw relatively faster profit growth at 11.4 percent for January-August, compared to 5.3 percent for state-owned enterprises.

Foreign-funded enterprises and companies with funds from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan posted the strongest growth in profits during the first eight months, with an annual increase of 13.7 percent.

The calculations considered companies that each have annual business revenues exceeding 20 million yuan.

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