German textile economy heavily cloudy in the midyear of 2018

The two textile sectors presented themselves in midyear not very dynamic. The key figures for textiles are not quite satisfactory, however still slightly ahead of the values of last year, on the other hand the economic figures for clothing are declining on a broad front. The ifo-index figures show – as witnessed in the whole production sector – that expectations are vanning markedly. Thereis the silver lining for a trend change in fall time, but the total economic risks such as in foreign trade and raw material prices weigh heavily.

The proceeds of the two sectors are in the current year below 0.7 % of the ones registered in the same period of last year. Particularly clothing presents lately a pure negative trend. Turnover in July declines anew, thus the first seven month of this year proceeds are -2.8 % below the  2017 levels. Clothing suffers also from the unusual warm and long summertime, but leaves hope that there will be a better climate in autumn. Texiles presents in July a turnover increase of 0.6 % and slightly above the one last year, however so far 2018 is not a brilliant year.

Occupation is following the trend of the proceeds: The textile sector reports an uptrend (+1.3 %), however this trend can only last based upon a stable development. Clothing has 3.7 % less collaborators. Thus in the first semester of 2018 the two sectors have 0.4 % less staff than last year.

The real working hours sank in July by 1.4 % against last year. Textiles are with 0.3 % slightly positive, whereas the clothing segment reports 4.9 % less working hours.

Domestic production sank in both segments, however more markedly at textiles (-4.1 % per July) as compared to clothing (- 0.5 %)

Looking at intake of orders, we note that it is like all other indicators for textiles more advantageous than for clothing. In the past months intake of textile orders increased steadily, resulting in a positive order log at actually +7.1 % against 2017. The clothing sector reports lagging order intake, resulting in a markedly lower order backlog and only +1.0 % above 2017.

Producer prices increased slightly and are in both segments very steady. For textiles resulted in July again +1.2 %, a bit higher as the clothing sector (+0.6 %).

Proceeds of the specialised retail sector developed mostly positive, however always below the values of the total German retail sector. In the summer months turnovers were markedly below the results of 2017 and now leading by July to the fact that less 1.2 % retail turnover were generated.

Foreign trade results present higher exports of clothing in July (+11.5 %), for textile exports and due to a few weak months are still positive (+0.5 %), but still declining. Imports are somewhat stable: per July for both sectors +0.1 %. The resulting export surplus is 14.2 % below the same period in 2017.

In July, raw material imports declined in July by 11.8 %.

Ifo economic climate index of September 2018

The trend of an actually cooling economic climate seems to become steady. As also the producing sector in total, neither textiles, nor the clothing sector show a positive dynamism in the future evaluation of companies. There are more volatile company evaluations resulting  for textiles and clothing and showing a declining trend for the reminder of the year. This and the non-stimulus economic figures are inclining the believe that after the long and very hot summer there will be now silver lining of a positive turn in the fall time, however the impulse would not be sufficient to a turnaround of the entire year’s results.