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China April industrial profits up 4.2%: Stats bureau

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Profits of China's industrial firms in April rose 4.2 percent from the same period last year to 502 billion yuan ($76.59 billion), though growth slowed significantly from March, the statistics bureau said on Friday.

Earnings rose 6.5 percent in the first four months of 2016 compared with the year-earlier period, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website.

Industrial profits rose 7.4 percent in the first quarter and 11.1 percent in March, sparking hopes that the sector was finally picking up after a protracted downturn that has dragged on the world's second-largest economy.

Product inventories at industrial firms fell 1.2 percent year on year at end April, the first drop in recent years, the statistics bureau said.

The data includes large companies with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan from their main operations.

China's state firms' profits dropped 8.4 percent in the January to April period, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

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