The government has held back the release of complete data of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for April, as was done for the same month last year due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Last year in June, the National Statistical Office (NSO) had held back the release of complete IIP data due to the effect of the nationwide lockdown on factory output.
This year too industrial production was hit due to lockdown restrictions imposed by states to curb the second wave of the pandemic. According to the partial data released on Friday by the NSO, the IIP (general index) stood at 126.6 points in April this year. The IIP was at 54 points in April 2020 and 126.5 points in April 2019. Industrial output had shrunk by 57.3 per cent in April 2020. As per the partial data, IIP growth works out to be 134 per cent in April 2021 over the same month last year, mainly due to the low base effect.
However, industrial growth was flat in April if we compare the IIP to that in the same month of 2019. This indicates that the nascent economic recovery has been impacted by the second wave of the pandemic. In a statement, NSO said, "It may be noted that the nationwide lockdown and other measures implemented to restrict the spread of Covid-19 pandemic from the end of March 2020, had led to a majority of the establishments not operating in April 2020 and consequently, there were many units which reported 'Nil' production, affecting comparison of the indices for the months of April 2020 and April 2021." The Centre had on March 25, 2020 enforced a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. The government started easing lockdown restrictions for some economic activities from April 20, 2020. This year, the second wave of pandemic began in the middle of April, which also affected production in factories due to local restrictions imposed by states.
The NSO stated that for the month of April 2021, the indices of industrial production for the mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors stood at 108, 125.1 and 174 points, respectively. As per use-based classification, the indices were at 126.7 for primary goods, 82.4 for capital goods, 137.9 for intermediate goods and 134.8 for infrastructure/ construction goods for April 2021. Further, the indices for consumer durables and consumer non-durables were at 112.4 and 142.3, respectively. The IIP had registered a growth of 5.2 per cent in February last year. It had shrunk by 18.7 per cent in March 2020.