China Industrial Profits Higher in April

Chinese industrial sector profits posted their first annual rise since last September, National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Wednesday, in a sign margin pressure on firms may be easing and government stimulus may be filtering into the real economy.

Industrial sector profits in April rose 2.6 percent from a year earlier, but were down 1.3 percent for the year to date, reflecting the extreme weakness of growth in the first quarter.

The statistics bureau said after the data that recent interest rate and fee cuts were boosting industrial profits, but that companies still faced weak demand and falling prices.