THE index of industrial production for the third quarter of last year increased by 0.5 per cent over the same quarter the previous year, according to a survey released yesterday by the Census and Statistics Department. The production of food, beverages and tobacco registered an increase of 4.9 per cent, according to the survey. A 4.1 per cent increase was also registered in the production of electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods. Within this group, the production of consumer electrical and electronic products increased by 4.3 per cent, while the production of machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components increased by 1.8 per cent. Small increases were also recorded in the production of textiles - including knitting - (1.5 per cent); basic metals and fabricated metal products (1.1 per cent); and wearing apparel (except footwear) of 0.7 per cent. However, the survey reported a decrease of 7.5 per cent in the production of chemicals, rubber, plastics and non-metallic mineral products. Within this group, the production of plastic products decreased 19 per cent. The production of paper and printing products decreased by 0.2 per cent. Compared with the second quarter of 1994, the index of industrial production showed an increase of 13.7 per cent. This increase was, however, partly seasonal, as manufacturing activities usually entered into peak season in the third quarter. The index of industrial production reflects changes in local manufacturing output in real terms.