Government suspends release of headline figure for factory output for May

The government suspended the release of a headline figure for factory output or industrial production for May, due to inadequate data collection on account of the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown.
That marked a second straight month the government did not release a headline figure for factory output, a key indicator of industrial activity in the economy determined by the Index of Industrial Production. Most industrial businesses were not operating from March onwards, according to a statement by the Ministry of Statistics.
However, limited data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed industrial activity picked up in May in comparison with the previous month.
The index rose to 88.4 in May from 53.6 in April, 88.4 as compared to 53.6 for April, “indicating a graded pickup in industrial activity in the economy”, the statistics ministry said.
“It may not be appropriate to compare the IIP for May 2020 with those of months preceding the COVID 2019 pandemic,” the official statement said. Data for June will be released on August 11.
Calculations based on available data showed industrial production shrank 34.71 per cent in May according to news agency Reuters.
Last month, the government had suspended the release of industrial production readings for April, and also data on consumer inflation for the past two months.