ECONOMYNEXT- Industrial activity in Sri Lanka slumped to a 3-year low in April 2019, as traditional holidays, followed by the Easter Sunday bombings, kept workers at home.
The Index of Industrial Production, compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics, fell to 96.9 index points in April, from 97.3 percent in April 2019.
The index had recorded the highest ever 116.5 points in March 2019, since the compilation began in 2016.
The IIP reaches annual highs in March, ahead of the expected slump in April when many workers take one to two weeks off for the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year holiday.
However, the 2019 April industrial activity reached the lowest since the 95.3 points recorded in April 2016, due to workers taking additional time off due to security concerns after the Easter Sunday terror attacks.
An index value of over 100 denotes a growth compared to the base year of 2015 while a lower figure denotes a fall compared to 2015.
Food production, which makes up just over a third of all industrial activity, fell 9.9 percent in April 2019 to 93.4 points from a year earlier.
Apparel production, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of industrial activity, grew 8.1 percent to 110.2 points.
Non-metallic mineral production fell 8.1 percent to 83.1 points, while coke and petroleum processing grew 16.8 percent to 112.1 points and rubber and plastic production grew 22.8 percent to 100.9 points, the highest growing during April.
These three industries each account for around 5-8 percent of industrial activity.
The largest slumps came from tobacco production, down 30.9 points to 52.5 points and other manufacturing falling 35.9 percent to 60.6 points. (Colombo/Jun11/2019)