BEIJING -- Major Chinese industrial firms saw their combined profits rise 24.2 percent year on year in August, quickening from 11.6 percent in July that points to further evidence of a firming economy, official data showed on Friday.
The profits of industrial companies with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan (3.26 million U.S. dollars) hit 483.17 billion yuan in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.
In the first eight months, their profits rose 12.8 percent to 3.5 trillion yuan.
Among the 41 industries surveyed, 25 posted year-on-year profit growth during the January-August period, while 14 saw their profit decline. One sector reported turnarounds in profitability and one reported decline in losses.
Breaking it down, private businesses led the growth, with their combined profits up 16.2 percent year on year in the first eight months, while state-run enterprises saw earnings up 8 percent during the period.
Electricity, heat production and the supply industry saw profits jump 70.1 percent in the first eight months, and manufacturers of computers, telecommunication and electronics saw their gains rise 29.2 percent.
Friday's data came after a string of other economic indicators, from factory output and retail sales to foreign trade, showed the world's second-largest economy may be gradually stabilizing after a protracted slowdown.
Among the latest evidence, HSBC's preliminary reading for China's manufacturing sector showed the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.2 in September, the highest level in six months.