BEIJING (Reuters) – Profits at China’s industrial firms shrank at a faster pace in January-August, as strict COVID restrictions and a deepening property slump weighed on domestic demand and heatwaves curbed factory activity.

Profits fell 2.1% in the first eight months of 2022 from a year earlier, after a 1.1% drop logged in January-July, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Tuesday.

The bureau did not report standalone figures for August.

Industrial profits data covers large firms with annual revenues above 20 million yuan ($2.80 million) from their main operations.

China’s economy showed surprising signs of resilience in August, with faster-than-expected growth in factory output and retail sales, but a property crisis and COVID lockdowns weighed on the outlook.

($1 = 7.1545 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Liangping Gao, Ella Cao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes)