Sri Lanka’s industrial activity picked up slightly this February compared to a year ago, amidst higher inflation, although production slowed down compared to January 2017, provisional data released by the Census and Statistics Department showed. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which measures production from the country’s manufacturing sector, increased to 103.1 in February 2017 from 102 year-on-year (YoY). The IIP in January was 103.8.
A value over 100 indicates an increase in production compared to the 2015 base year value of 100 and vice-versa.
In comparison to the IIP, inflation across the nation increased to 8.2 percent YoY in February, while increasing 0.5 percent from January.
Food, which was the main cause for inflation, increased to 102.5 in February from 101 YoY in the IIP, in which food production is said to account for over a third of the country’s gross value-added manufacturing.
Wearing apparel, the country’s leading export product, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the IPP, increased to 110.6 this February from 107.3 YoY.
Non-metallic mineral product manufacturing, which contributes 7.8 percent to the country’s gross value-added manufacturing boomed to 109.9 from 89.2 YoY.
Coke and refined petroleum production, claiming 7.4 percent of the IPP through value-added production, fell to 89.1 in February from 104.6 YoY, amidst a drought, which has forced the state to import refined petroleum in larger quantities to operate costly thermal power production units, in place of restricted hydropower manufacturing.
Rubber and plastic production fell to 100.1 from 105 YoY. This segment claims around 6 percent of the country’s gross value-added production.
Minor industries such as furniture, electrical equipment and basic metal manufacturing recorded strong growths in February, as did the printing and reproduction of recorded media. Fabricated metal, chemicals, paper, tobacco, wood and straw and beverage production recorded declines during the month.