The Centre on Friday said it was suspending the release of industrial output numbers for May due to inadequate data collection. This is the second straight month for which the government will not be releasing the data. It had earlier suspended the release of retail inflation data for April and May.

“In view of the preventive measures and announcement of nation-wide lockdown by the government to contain spread of COVID-19 pandemic, majority of the industrial sector establishments were not operating from the end of March, 2020 onwards,” a statement by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said. “This has had an impact on the items being produced by the establishments during the period of lockdown and the subsequent periods of conditional relaxations in restrictions.”

The ministry released quick estimates of the Index of Industrial Production, which showed the index value at 88.4 in May against 53.6 in April. This indicates a graded pickup in industrial activity. The index stood at 135.4 in May 2019.

The ministry did not provide any comparable percentage data. “It may not be appropriate to compare the IIP for May 2020 with those of months preceding the Covid 2019 pandemic,” it said.

According to the data, the indices of industrial production for mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors for May stood at 87.0, 82.4 and 149.6.

Meanwhile, the output in the eight core industries suffered an overall contraction for a third straight month in May, shrinking 23.4%, as the pandemic-induced lockdown kept large parts of the economy shut, government data released on June 30 showed.