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BEIJING - Profits for Chinese chemical producers, automakers and other major industrial companies fell 5.2 percent in the first two months of 2012 from the same period a year earlier, China's statistical authority said Tuesday.
Total profits for the largest industrial companies, or those with annual revenues above 20 million yuan ($3.17 million), stood at 606 billion yuan during the first two months, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on its website.
The data highlighted the impact of the sluggish global economic recovery on Chinese companies, especially state-owned enterprises, as exports have slowed due to waning external demand.
The data also represents a significant drop from February, during which industrial profits rose 25.4 percent to 5.45 trillion yuan in 2011 from the same period a year earlier.
State-owned and state-controlled enterprises saw their profits fall 19.7 percent from one year earlier to 179.1 billion yuan, while private companies' profits grew 24.4 percent during the same period.
The ferrous metal sector was hit the hardest, with profits slumping by 94 percent. The computer, telecommunications and electronics manufacturing industries suffered a 40.8-percent drop in profits.
Profits in the power generation sector, however, increased by 21.1percent. The country's oil and gas exploration industry witnessed a 15.5-percent rise in profits, according to the statement.
China's economic growth slowed to 9.2 percent in 2011, down from 10.4 percent in the previous year.