China’s industrial companies saw their combined earnings growth slow in March, as moderation in commodity prices hit profits in upstream sectors. Profits of industrial enterprises increased by 23.8% year-on-year in March to 688.7 billion yuan ($100 billion), down from a gain of 31.5% in the January-February period, according to figures released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Profits for the first quarter as a whole rose by 28.3% to 1.7 trillion yuan. The deceleration may add to concerns over the sustainability of a rebound in China’s economic growth. Profits have surged this year on the back of a recovery in raw material prices that has mainly benefited so-called upstream industries such as coal, oil and smelting. But according to Caixin, the impact is now starting to taper off as gains in commodity prices have eased on a year-on-year basis.
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