IIP of April 2021 loses steam as against March 2021 figures amid local lockdowns

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) slowed to 126.6 in April 2021 from 145.5 in March 2021. The slowdown in factory output reflected the impact of localised lockdowns across the country against the second wave of COVID-19, data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday showed.

The IIP was at 54 in April 2020 and 126.5 in April 2019. The industrial output had contracted by 57.3 per cent in April 2020 over the figures of April 2019. The NSO refrained from giving the data in percentage terms – providing only the value of indices – citing that “many units … reported nil production, affecting comparison of the indices for the months of April 2020 and April 2021”. 

Comparing the output levels, the data showed that the industrial output in April 2021 was 94.3 per cent of the output seen in February 2020 and 100.1 per cent as against the output of April 2019. In percentage terms, industrial activity showed a rise of 134.4 per cent this April – primarily due to severe low base effect – from April 2020, when a nationwide lockdown was imposed to counter the spread of the pandemic.

“This clearly shows that some of the ground that industrial output had covered in March 2021 by going past the production levels witnessed during the pre-lockdown month of February 2020 has again been lost in April 2021. This was expected due to the regional or partial lockdown imposed in different parts of the country due to the second wave of COVID-19 infections,” Sunil Kumar Sinha, the principal economist of India Ratings & Research, said.

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