Chinese industrial profits grew in the first quarter despite COVID-19-related headwinds that cuffed major cities in the country. 

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that relatively large industrial profits grew 8.5 percent to 1.95 trillion yuan ($297 billion) in the first quarter. 

At the end of first quarter, the assets of industrial enterprises above designated size totaled 144.61 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 10.6 percent; liabilities totaled 81.68 trillion yuan, an increase of 10.5 percent; the total owner’s equity was 62.93 trillion yuan, an increase of 10.8 percent; and the asset-liability ratio was 56.5 percent. 

In the first quarter, industrial firms’ profits grew 12.2 percent from a year earlier. That’s up from 5 percent in the first two months. As a result of higher commodity prices, mining profits surged 148 percent in the first three months, with the growth rate expanding by 15.8 percentage points from January to February.

Speaking to global times on Wednesday, Wu Chaoming, the vice president of Chasing International Economic Institute said, “the weak recovery of consumption under the impact of the epidemic, coupled with pessimism about the real estate market, will also constrain demand for industrial products and weigh on profits.”

This is accompanied by overall growth of the country’s Q1 GDP which hit 27,017.8 billion yuan, up by 4.8 percent year on year over that in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, restrictions are persisting in major cities including the country’s capital Beijing and Shanghai.