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News from China
Industrial profit growth accelerates
28th June 2018

 China’s major industrial companies posted increased profit growth in the first five months of the year, data revealed yesterday.

Profits at major industrial firms grew 16.5 percent in the period, quickening from the 15 percent expansion for the January-April period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
In May alone, combined profits of industrial companies with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan (US$3 million) each went up 21.1 percent year on year, slightly retreating from the 21.9 percent gain in April.
Among them, state-owned enterprises made a combined profit of 810.35 billion yuan in the first five months, up 28.7 percent from the same period of last year. Collective-owned enterprises, joint-stock companies, overseas-funded firms and private companies saw profit growth of 4.4 percent, 20.6 percent, 6.9 percent and 10.6 percent respectively.
The bureau’s statistician He Ping attributed sound growth to the country’s supply-side structural reforms, which led to falling production costs and lower leverage ratios.
“The supply-side structural reform keeps showing its effectiveness and achievements,” said He.
The cost and expense per 100 yuan of revenue from the main business was down 0.35 yuan to 92.59 yuan in the January-May period from a year earlier. The cost dropped 0.31 yuan to 84.49 yuan.
The leverage rate also dropped, with the debt-to-asset ratio down 0.6 percentage points to 56.6 percent at the end of May, the bureau said.
Its report also pointed out that the overall efficiency of industrial enterprises continued to improve, with faster inventory turnover of products and stronger profitability.
Among the 41 industries surveyed, 31 posted year-on-year profit growth during the first five months.
Manufacturing, which accounted for 84.8 percent of the total industrial profit, saw the sector’s combined profit expand 13.8 percent. The mining industry’s profit surged 41.6 percent, while those of power generation, heating, fuel gas, water production and supply companies went up 26.1 percent.
The ferrous metal smelting and rolling processing industry showed an 110 percent jump in profit in the January-May period.
The non-metallic mineral products industry rose 44.6 percent, chemical raw materials and manufacturing of chemical products grew 27.7 percent, petroleum and natural gas extraction was up 260 percent, and the electric and thermal power production and supply sector advanced 27.8 percent.
“Despite slight slowdown in growth in May compared with April, the total profit of Chinese industrial enterprises saw rapid growth amid lower costs and also higher prices,” He said.
The Producer Price Index rose 4.1 percent in May from a year earlier, 0.7 percentage points higher than the growth in April, while the industrial producer purchase price picked up 0.6 percentage points from April to add 4.3 percent year on year.
According to preliminary calculations, the positive effect of price changes on profit growth in May was 4.3 percentage points greater than the previous month, the bureau said.
Yesterday’s data was the latest in a slew of economic indicators that showed China’s economic resilience, which prompted global institutions such as the World Bank to raise their economic forecasts for the country.
Earlier data showed growth in energy consumption, freight traffic and producer prices all picked up last month, pointing to a firming real economy and progress in structural transformation.
China’s economy grew 6.8 percent year on year in the first quarter, above the target of around 6.5 percent.
Earlier this month, the World Bank upgraded its forecast for China’s economic growth in 2018 to 6.5 percent, 0.1 percentage point higher than its January forecast. The World Bank’s latest China Economic Update said economic activity remained resilient, and the new economy is now a more prominent source of growth.
Morgan Stanley expects China’s GDP to grow 6.6 percent in 2018, up from its previous projection of 6.5 percent.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 28, 2018
China announces tariff adjustment under APTA arrangement
27th June 2018


China will adjust tariffs on an array of imports from a number of Asia-Pacific countries from July 1, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The adjustment, covering products under 8,549 tariff codes made in Bangladesh, India, Laos, the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka, was part of the tariff concession arrangement reached under the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement.
After the adjustment, tariffs on 2,323 categories of commodities such as certain chemicals, optical components and television cameras will be reduced, the ministry said.
The adjustment came after a new arrangement was reached during the fourth round of tariff concession negotiations among the six APTA members in January 2017.
In May 2001, China joined the then Bangkok Agreement, whose name was changed to the APTA in November 2005. It aims at promoting economic and trade cooperation among its members through the adoption of mutually beneficial trade liberalization measures.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 27, 2018
First Central and Eastern European report in Chinese released
26th June 2018

 The first annual report on the development of the Central and Eastern European countries in Chinese was released on Monday in Beijing.

The first “Blue Book of CEEC” was penned by teachers of Beijing Foreign Studies University, other Chinese experts in the field of study and scholars from the CEEC.
The book reports on the politics, economy, culture, society, foreign relations and security of 16 countries covered by the China-CEEC cooperation platform “16+1” from 2016 to 2017, with abundant first-hand data sourced from respective countries.
The book was published by the Social Sciences Academic Press (China).
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 26, 2018
China punishes 7,199 officials in May for violating austerity rules
25th June 2018

 The top anti-graft body of the Communist Party of China said that 7,199 officials including a ministerial-level official, were punished in May for violating Party austerity rules.

The officials were involved in 4,973 cases, said the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in a statement.
Awarding an unauthorized allowance or bonus was the most common misdemeanor, followed by giving or accepting gifts and misuse of public vehicles.
A total of 27,099 officials involved in 18,985 cases were punished in the first five months of 2018, the CCDI said.
The CPC released its eight-point rules on austerity in late 2012 to reduce undesirable work practices.
The CCDI has a monthly reporting system on the implementation of the austerity rules within provincial-level governments, central Party and government agencies, centrally administered state-owned enterprises and central financial institutions.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 25, 2018

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