Profits of China's major industrial firms grew 16.2 percent in the first eight months of 2018, down from a rise of 17.1 percent for the January-July period, data showed Thursday.
Some 34 of the 41 industries monitored by the government recorded rising profits compared with one year earlier, up from 32 for January-July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Although industrial profits rose at a slower pace, NBS official He Ping said supply-side structural reform has led to falling operating costs and leverage ratios, while industrial companies' profitability continued to improve.
In the first eight months, cost per 100 yuan (about 14.6 U.S. dollars) of revenue dropped 0.35 yuan from the same period last year to 84.39 yuan, according to He.
The debt-asset ratios of major industrial firms dropped 0.5 percentage points year on year to 56.6 percent by the end of August.
Overseas-funded industrial firms recorded faster profit growth compared with the January-July period, while profit growth at state-owned enterprises declined.
For August alone, profits of major industrial companies nationwide rose 9.2 percent from one year earlier, decelerating from a rise of 16.2 percent registered in July.
He Ping attributed the slower growth in August to a higher comparative base from last year and a pullback in the growth of revenues and product prices.