Profit growth of the mainland's industrial sector slowed to 25.4 per cent last year, as weak demand from developed nations hit by the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis and Beijing's economic tightening measures to combat inflation and cap rising property prices dampened demand for manufactured products. Total profit for all industrial enterprises amounted to 5.45 trillion yuan (HK$6.71 trillion) last year, of which central- and local-government-owned enterprises registered a 31.4 per cent rise to 144.6 billion yuan, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Total industrial profit in December alone grew 31.5 per cent. The industrial sector has seen a general downtrend through most of the year, with the year-on-year total profit growth rate falling from 34.3 per cent in the first two months of 2011 to 24.4 per cent for the first 11 months of 2011. The 25.4 per cent growth for the whole of last year was a marked slowdown from 49.4 per cent recorded in the first 11 months of 2010. Figures for the whole of 2010 were unavailable on the bureau's website. To curb inflation and cool the property boom, Beijing raised the benchmark interest rate three times last year and raised the banks' capital reserve ratio six times. Also, it imposed a series of measures to limit home purchases in big cities. As the European sovereign debt crisis deepened during the course of last year, and growth remained anaemic in the United States and Japan, the mainland's exports growth slowed to 20.3 per cent last year from 31.3 per cent in 2010. Faster growth in exports to developing nations helped cushion the slowdown. Among the 39 manufacturing industries tracked by the bureau, 37 reported profit growth last year from 2010, while two saw declines. The best performers were iron ore miners, with a 53 per cent rise, non-ferrous metals smelters and processors (51.3 per cent), oil and gas producers (44.8 per cent) and chemicals producers (32.1 per cent). Profit of steel smelters and processors rose 15.4 per cent, while that of transport equipment makers rose 17.3 per cent and communications and computer equipment makers' rose 8.7 per cent. Oil refiners saw a dramatic 92.8 per cent profit decline, and electricity and heat producers' profit fell 11 per cent. They were hurt as state controls on fuel and power prices lagged those on crude oil and coal.