BEIJING : Profits earned by China’s industrial firms contracted in June after a brief gain the previous month, fuelling concern that a slowdown in manufacturing from a bruising trade war will drag on economic growth. China’s industrial profits have been softening since the second half of 2018 as the economy slowed and the U.S.-China trade dispute escalated, with many industrial firms putting off business decisions and scaling back manufacturing investment. Economic growth in the second quarter slowed to a near 30-year low. Industrial profits fell 3.1% in June from a year earlier to 601.9 billion yuan ($87.5 billion), according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Saturday, following a 1.1% gain in May. In the first six months, industrial firms earned profits of 2.98 trillion yuan, down 2.4% from a year earlier, compared with a 2.3% drop in January-May.