Apparel slowdown dampens Sri Lankan industrial activity in Dec

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s industrial activitiy slowed in December from a month earlier, with a fall in apparel manufacturing, the state statistics office said.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) compiled by the Census and Statistics Department fell 0.2 percent to in December to 108.6 points.

An index value of over 100 denotes growth from 2015, the IIP’s base year.

In the past, the IIP has marginally grown in December.

The fall came mainly due to a 9.8 percent fall in apparel manufacturing, which is Sri Lanka’s leading export.

The apparel industry contributes to a fifth of the industrial production, which is the second highest in the country.

Apparel exports had fallen 1.7 percent in December. The Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association had said exports would face a downturn till April, especially due to Brexit.

Food manufacturing, which is the largest industrial segment comprising a third of the total, grew 7.2 percent during December, amid Christmas holidays.

Non-metallic minerals and refined petroleum production, each of which contribute 7-8 percent to industrial activity, grew 1.8 percent and 20.4 percent respectively.

Refined petroleum production recorded the highest growth during the month.

Rubber and plastic making, which is the fifth largest industrial segment, grew 1.1 percent.

The highest fall in December were from textile manufacturing, down 33.9 percent and pharmaceutical production, down 32.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the IIP for the fourth quarter of 2019 grew 0.7 percent to 109.8 points from a year earlier with higher food production. (Colombo/Feb12/2020)

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