© Reuters. Employees work at the production line of aluminium rolls at a factory in Zouping

BEIJING (Reuters) – Profits at China’s industrial firms rose 92.3% year-on-year in March to 711.18 billion yuan ($109.66 billion), official data showed on Tuesday.

That compared with a 179% on-year surge seen in the first two months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The industrial profit data covers large firms with annual revenue of over 20 million yuan from their main operations.

For the January-March period, industrial firms’ profits rose 137% from the same period a year earlier to 1.825 trillion yuan.

China’s gross domestic product quickened sharply in the first quarter to record growth of 18.3%, driven by stronger demand at home and abroad.

However, the data undershot the 19% forecast by economists in a Reuters poll, and analysts expect the brisk expansion, heavily skewed by the virus-related plunge in activity a year earlier, to moderate later this year.

($1 = 6.4853 renminbi)

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