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October industrial production slips with virus resurgence

22 December 2020 08:59 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • IIP records 108.1 index points compared to 112.1 index points in Oct. 2019
  • Food, non-metallic mineral products, coke and refined petroleum and chemical products record gains
  • SL’s July industrial production reached pre-pandemic levels after lockdown orders were lifted in mid-May

Sri Lanka’s manufacturing strength as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) slipped in October with authorities imposing some restrictions on mobility with the resurgence of COVID-19 in the early part of the month. 
Accordingly, IIP recorded 108.1 index points in October compared to 112.1 index points in the same month last year, but little changed from 108.4 index points in September. 


The industrial production in Sri Lanka got off to a robust start since the virus related restrictions were lifted in mid-May and the index reached pre-pandemic levels recording 111.1 index points in July, the data from the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) showed.


In April, the IIP hit a nadir of 49.7 as industrial activities slumped except for those categorised as essential services such as pharmaceutical, exports and food & beverage due to the country-wide lockdown to contain the spread of virus.


However, the authorities have so far followed a measured approach responding to the outbreak of the second wave of the virus by isolating only the high-risk areas to ensure minimal impact on economic activities. 
Amid these restrictions, the authorities have ensured that production continued unabated even in the areas designated as isolated. 

The key sub divisions or industrial sectors, which powered the October industrial production were food products, non-metallic mineral products, coke and refined petroleum products and chemicals and chemical products, which rose 5.6 percent, 7.7 percent, 16.6 percent and 18.2 percent respectively.

The resiliency reflected in food production as an industry is a clear indication that the country is building its food base to become crisis proof while exporting the excess into other countries. However, wearing apparel, rubber and plastics products and beverages weighed on the index in October as those sub divisions declined by 21.3 percent, 20.3 percent and 7.6 percent respectively from the same month in 2019. These were reflected in the export figures put out for the same month last week as the exports experienced a temporary setback in October due to restrictions imposed in key populous and industrial regions in the country during that month.

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