Chinese industrial businesses suffered their worst fall in profits in at least a decade at the beginning of this year, as the coronavirus outbreak forced factories to close down.

Economists warned that the world’s second largest economy would contract in the first quarter of the year and that the outlook for the year ahead was weak. Although factories are beginning to reopen, the industrial sector is still facing a slump in demand as the global recession looms.

Profits fell to 410.7 billion yuan (£48.3 billion) in January and February, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. Down 38.3 per cent on the same period last year it was worse than the 6.3 per cent fall in the year to December and the steepest decline

Source: The Times