European apparel sector slumps in Q3 2022
Euratex, the confederation that represents the interests of the textile and apparel industries in Europe, has found that the sector’s manufacturing activity slumped in Q2 2022, its data showing that European textile output fell by 3.2%, and that of apparel by 4.2%. According to Euratex however, the economic crisis’ impact on industrial output has not dented the optimism felt by European apparel manufacturers.
“Although tougher market conditions are starting to impact the [textile and apparel sector’s] business activity, the intensity of the downturn moderated in response to fewer supply constraints and improved expectations about the global economy,” said Euratex. The confederation also stated that the invasion of Ukraine and international trade disruptions have only added to pre-existing inflationary pressures. Notably with regards to energy, an issue on which Euratex considers the EU’s response to be insufficient.
With Q4 2019 as the baseline, the European textile production index stood at 117.1 in Q3 2022. However, the supply-and-demand imbalance and weaker household purchasing power have had a more direct impact on apparel production. The latter’s index had been rising steadily since Q4 2020, and exceeded pre-crisis levels in Q1 2022, but recorded its first drop in the July-September 2022 period, when it stood at 106.1.
Euratex stated that the EU Business Confidence indicator for the coming months has deteriorated slightly for the textile sector, due to a certain pessimism about future apparel production demand. However, a renewed degree of confidence is reportedly felt among apparel manufacturers, in terms of their order books and the inventory situation of finished products.
The European textile and apparel sector as a whole currently employs 1.3 million workers, active in some 143,000 companies. In fiscal 2021, the sector's extra-EU exports of goods were worth €58 billion, a value higher than that recorded before the pandemic
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