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The decline narrowed sharply from a 4.2-per cent slump in the Jan-Feb period, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Dragged by the sagging performance in the first two months, China’s industrial profits shrank by 2.7 per cent in the first quarter to 1.25 trillion yuan.
The bureau’s calculations include companies with annual revenues exceeding 20 million yuan.
NBS statistician He Ping attributed the improvement in March to lower raw material prices and operating costs, and higher investment returns in industrial businesses.