ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index remained in expansion at 60.2 percent though 1 point down from December, while services continued to expand with a 0.6 percent rise to 56.2 percent, the central bank said.
New orders as well as building up of stocks had helped the Manufacturing PMI. Companies had hired new staff.
“New Orders and Production sub-indices remained at healthy levels especially in manufacture of food & beverages sector following the festival season,” the central bank which compiles the PMI Index said.
“However, some respondents in this sector highlighted that lower than expected demand due to the COVID-19 situation affected the business activities.
Some manufacturers had said they had to to struggle to complete their production on time due to the lack of employee availability mainly with the pandemic related health concerns.”
Firms had built up stocks in January expecting supply disruptions with the Chinese New Year.
“Expectations for manufacturing activities in the next three months improved further with the expectation for the normalisation of economic activities within the country as well as in major export markets,” the report said.
The services sector continue to recover with the services Purchasing Managers’ Index rising for the second month in a row.
“This increase was underpinned by the expansions observed in new businesses, business activities and expectations for activity,” the central bank said.
New businesses increased in January 2021, particularly with the improvements observed in financial services, transportation, and wholesale and retail trade sub-sectors.
Goods and passenger transportation, accommodation, food and beverages had also improved further with the gradual recovery in domestic tourism owing to the promotional discounts.
Financial services, education and other personal services sub-sectors also increased in January 2021.
“However, respondents in import trade continuously cited their concerns over restrictions on non-essential imports,” the central bank said. (Colombo/Feb15/2021)