A worker transfers products in a 5G plant of Hande Manufacturing China Co Ltd in Xinyu city in eastern Jiangxi province on March 30, 2020. Photo: AFP

Profits of China’s major industrial firms dropped in the first quarter of this year but there were signs of improvement in March, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

Profits of industrial companies with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan (US$2.83 million) totaled 781.45 billion yuan in the first quarter, down 36.7% from the same period last year. The contraction narrowed from the 38.3% year-on-year decline in the first two months.

Profits in 39 of the 41 industrial sectors surveyed declined, while 28 sectors saw their profit growth improve or soften in March, the Bureau said.

Industrial profits warmed in March as stepped-up work and production resumed nationwide which drove up sales for industrial products, said NBS official Zhang Weihua.

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