Industrial profits rose 11.1% in March to Rmb561bn ($86.5bn), the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday, bringing first-quarter growth in profits to 7.4%, according to the Financial Times. The March numbers are the strongest since July 2014. A 4.8% rise in the first two months of the year ended a seven-month string of negative growth. China’s economy grew at 6.7% in the first quarter, masking a growing divergence between sectors. Chemical companies were up 20.8%, with agricultural or food processing companies up 12.1%. Meanwhile, profits for coal miners fell by a startling 92.6%, while a loss was reported for oil and gas producers.
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