Profits at major industrial enterprises in China declined 1.7% to US$73.97 billion in June from the previous year, improving from a 5.3% decline in May, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing the National Bureau of Statistics. Profits declined by 2.2% in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period a year earlier. "The worst is behind us in terms of contraction. The question now is how quickly do things improve," economist Tim Condon of ING said. Industrial firms have posted mixed results for the first half of the year. Profits of state-owned enterprises dropped 10.9% year-on-year, and foreign companies recorded profit declines of 13.4%. However, privately-owned Chinese companies enjoyed a 16.5% increase in profits. The National Bureau of Statistics measures performance of businesses with annual incomes higher than RMB 20 million (US$3.1 million).