ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s industrial activity had grown 11.8 percent in March 2019 from a month earlier, as the country prepared for the April holidays, the state statistics office said.
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP), compiled by the Census and Statistics Department, was recorded at 116.5 points in March, the highest since the index started in January 2016, beating 110.8 points in October.
A value over 100 means the index has grown compared to the base year of 2015.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index maintained by the Central Bank too grew in March, with the manufacturing sector reaching a 46-month high.
March is usually a month with high industrial activity, as the country prepares for the festivities in April, when many take long holidays.
Food production, which makes up over a third of industrial activity in the IIP, grew 18.7 percent in March from February to 114.5 points.
Apparel production, which makes up around 20 percent of industrial activity, had grown 1.1 percent to 103.3 points.
Manufactory of other non-metallic mineral products, which comprises of around 7.8 percent of the industrial sector, grew 12.8 percent to 128.6 points.
The equally large coke and refined petroleum production industry grew 3.4 percent to 109.5 points.
Chemicals production was the highest gainer in March, up 32.7 percent to 125.7 points in March, while paper-related production was the biggest loser, falling 17.7 percent to 77.7 points.
The IIP also recorded a 5.7 percent growth in March from a year earlier amid low growth across most major industries, and declines across minor activities.
The coke and refined petroleum industry recorded a 202.7 percent growth to 109.5 points and pushed up the index, as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s refinery was closed for maintenance a year earlier. (Colombo/May13/2019)