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China's industrial profit up 15.1 pct in October

BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese industrial businesses saw their profits rise 15.1 percent year on year in October, slowing from 18.4 percent in September, official data showed on Thursday.

Total profits of industrial companies with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan (3.26 million U.S. dollars) reached 581.04 billion yuan in October, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.

In the first 10 months, their profits rose 13.7 percent from the same period last year to 4.63 trillion yuan, accelerating from 13.5 percent in the first nine months.

Among the 41 industries surveyed, 35 posted year-on-year profit growth during the January-October period, 5 saw profits decline, while the oil refining, coking and nuclear fuel processing sectors turned losses into gains, the NBS said.

Private businesses led the growth, with their combined profits up 17.5 percent year on year in the first 10 months, while state-run enterprises saw profits up 9.1 percent during the period.

The steady growth in industrial profits is the latest evidence pointing to a stabilizing economy.

Previous NBS data showed China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to an 18-month high of 51.4 percent in October, the fourth consecutive month in an upward PMI trend.

The HSBC flash manufacturing PMI for November released last week eased to 50.4 from a seven-month high of 50.9 in October.

Qu Hongbin, chief China economist with HSBC, said although the country's growth momentum softened a little in November, "we are still optimistic about the country's growth prospects in the short term."

In the third quarter, China's economic growth accelerated to 7.8 from 7.5 percent in the second quarter. Growth in the first nine months stood at 7.7 percent, higher than the government's annual target of 7.5 percent.

Chinese shares were relatively strong Thursday, partly due to the upbeat data, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index surging 1.29 percent to 2,229.38 points by midday.

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