EU textile & clothing statistics for the first 9 months 2010

After the 2009 slump (-17% as compared with 2008), the first 9 months 2010 showed a renewed growth in EU-27 production.

Indeed, textile output rose by +8.1% thanks to the economic recovery and the dynamic exports' evolution. Similarly, the clothing sector regained growth (+1.1%) after the 2009 double digit decline. Finally, the evolution of the man-made fibre industry recorded a clear upturn during that period (+17.7% as compared with January - September 2009). On a monthly basis, the indicators prove the continuously improvement of the situation in particular in the textile sector.

Retail sales lost momentum in 2008 and 2009, but during the first 9 months 2010 consumers drove retail sales up 3.3% as compared to the same period of the previous year. Still, the employment index recorded another decline in the textile and clothing sector, respectively -6% and -11%, indicating prospects for employment recovery weak dispite the pick-up in output. However, the situation largely improved since the beginning of the year, in particular in the textile industry (-9.5% during the 1st quarter 2010 down to -1.7% during the 3rd quarter 2010).

New orders dropped in previous years but stronger orders during the first 9 months 2010, in particular in the textile industry (+9.7%), suggest the economy is recovering. Unless the situation in the clothing industry remains fragile (-5.1% decrease over the period), the slowdown is steadily reducing with the best result achieved during the third quarter 2010 (-1.7% as compared with the same period of 2009).

EU textile and clothing imports increased in value terms by +8.1% to Euro 62 billion during the January - September 2010 period. The growth tempo of textile imports accelerated markedly (+24% as compared with the same period of previous year). On the clothing side, EU imports restored a positive growth (+3.4%) following a relatively dynamic evolution during the third quarter 2010. All main textile and clothing suppliers but Indonesia showed increasing deliveries to the EU. In particular, the double digit surge of European textile imports -from the top 10 suppliers- confirms stabilising domestic demand conditions. During that period, some large suppliers (i.e. India, Tunisia, Morocco and Indonesia) decreased their unit prices as compared with the first 9 months of 2009.

Similarly, EU textile and clothing exports succeded in recouping further market shares (+9.2% in value terms) during the period under review. This result is primarily due to the textile sector which recorded a double digit increase (+16%) during the January - September 2010 period. The sizeable exports growth witnessed in the textile and clothing sector on Third markets. except the Serbia and Croatia ones, indicates as well improving external demand conditions.

source: Euratex based on Eurostat figues

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