India suspends release of industrial output data for lockdown period

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India said on Friday it was suspending the release of headline industrial output numbers for May, part of a more-than two-month lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus pandemic, due to inadequate data collection.

Most industrial businesses were not operating from March onwards, a statement released by the Ministry of Statistics said. The government earlier suspended the release of industrial production numbers for April as well as retail inflation data for April and May.

Industrial output contracted 34.71 in May according to Reuters calculations based on available data. Analysts’ in a Reuters poll had forecast a 37.8% drop.

The government said “it may not be appropriate to compare the IIP for May 2020 with those of months preceding the COVID 2019 pandemic.”

Reporting by Manoj Kumar and Nidhi Verma; editing by John Stonestreet