Despite weakening economic conditions, German textile and clothing sectors performed in April rather well

The difficult economic framework influenced negatively the German textile and clothing sectors. However the indicators are relatively good, such as turnover and order intake. Positive are also the encouraging special retail data. However, the outlook is somewhat nebulous, because of foreign policies, also the Ifo business climate index suggests a weaker development in the next months.

Proceeds in April have improved somewhat after the significant backlash in March (Textiles + 4.5 %, Clothing + 17.7 %). However total annual turnover shows a deceiving plus of +0.4 % increase against the same period of 2017 (Textiles +2.1 %, Clothing -2.4 %). The low value for clothing results also from statistical structural amendments at the beginning of the year.

The occupation situation of the sectors in the first quarter 2018 is slightly below the one of 2017 (-0.1 %), however with an increase in the textile sector (+1.5 %), however clothing had in April 3.2 % less persons occupied.

The working hours decreased in April by 0.9 % against the same period of last year. This means a repetition of a split image of the sectors – for April Textiles + 0.6 %, Clothing – 4.0 %.

Domestic production increased in April in both sectors: Textiles by + 2.4 % and thanks to a strong month for clothing resulted a plus of 2.1 %.

After a rather decreasing March the order indicators improved in April. Textiles show a positive development this year in view to new order logging and order backlogs. The clothing sector is more volatile but shows jointly with the proceeds of the month April a significant boost of new orders (+17.7 %).

Production prices increased only slightly, but in both sectors constantly. Textiles in April by 1.4 %, and for clothing +0.6 %.

Turnover in special retailing (clothes) developed so far in 2018 constantly positive, in April with an additional plus of +3.4 % in the first four months and above the increase of the total German retail sector (+3.1 %).

Foreign trade shows higher exports for both sectors in the first four months of 2018. Textiles only slightly (+0.9 %), clothing increased markedly (+8.9 %). Imports decrease continuously, in April in total by -0.9 %, thus resulting in an import surplus of -15.3 % below the level of the same period in 2017.

Raw material imports decreased by 9.5 % in April 2018.