ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index reached a 9-month high as activities continue to recover backed by production and new orders, the central bank which compiles the index said.
“The significant increases in New Orders and Production sub-indices, particularly in the manufacture of food & beverages and textile & wearing apparel sectors, have mainly contributed to the improvement in the overall index,” the statement said.
“Many respondents in the manufacture of food & beverages sector highlighted that they experienced
higher levels of sales and production during March 2021 ahead of the New Year festival season.
“Further, respondents from the textile & wearing apparel sector mentioned that they increased production during the month to cover-up seasonal holidays.”
Though shipping related issues were gradually easing, freight rates were still high.
The Manufacturing PMI climbed to 67 in March from 59.4 in February.
The Services PMI also climbed to 62.1 rising 5.6 points from 56.5.
“New businesses in the services sector increased in March 2021, particularly with the improvements observed in financial services, other personal services, and wholesale and retail trade sub-sectors,” the central bank said.
“For the fourth straight month, the business activities in the services sector increased in March 2021 with increases observed almost across all sub-sectors.
“Mainly, financial services sub-sector recorded a further improvement during the month in line with the progresses in economic activities. With the festive season, wholesale and retail trade, and transportation sub-sectors also expanded further.”
Services employment increased in March 2021 for the first time after declining for 13 consecutive months due to new recruitments amidst growing business activities.
Backlogs of work decreased in March 2021 for the second month in row in line with the increase in staffing levels, which were previously at a low level due to COVID-19 related health concerns. (Colombo/Apr16/2021)