Growth of German textiles and clothing in 2017

The full year of 2018 closes with a growth in turnover of totally 1.8 % against 2016. This corresponds nearly with the forecasted growth of 1.7 %. Textiles reached a plus of 1.3 %, however below the forecast of 2.0 %. On the other hand, clothing added 2.5 %, above the forecast of 1.5 %.

Occupation in the two sectors increases by 0.9 %, this said, there are around 119000 persons occupied in the Textile and Fashion Industry or 1000 more than 2016. The two sectors develop in step, clothing added 0.8 % and textiles 0.9 %.

Exports developed extraordinary positive as a result of the exemplary increases of clothing by 17.7 %, however part of the increase depends on statistical changes. But also textiles increased its exports by 2.6 %.

Specialist retailers profited of the excellent economic conditions, also of positive consumer sentiment.

Total retailing in Germany increased turnover by 4.4 %, whereas clothing retail increased by 8.0 %.

Clothing proceeds have increased by 2.5 % and into the positive as against a rather weak 2016. Particulary toward the end of 2017 the increases were substantial besides already excellent forecasts of the former months.

Textile turnover could not maintain the high level of the former years. Also the former expectation of 2.0 % growths was not met with +1.3 %. At the end of 2017 the turnover increases were only small with a slightly uptrend toward the end of 2017,

The segment development of textiles confirm that with the exception of Technical Textiles and carpet production, all segments were partially adding considerably. The high growth rates of the past years in Technical Textiles could not be repeated in 2017, and also the growth segment nonwovens developed only average.

The clothing segements augmented in all sectors except lingerie. Besides the segment with the highest weight “other outwear”, also hosiery and knitting were favourably in the focus, as well as work- and professional clothing, these added greatly to the growth of turnover.

In both sectors the turnover contribution of foreign turnover is higher than from domestic sources. This underlines the importance of foreign markets for the two sectors. Especially significant was the difference for textiles where the domestic contribution was slightly negative in 2017. Even clothing cold profit from the domestic economic conditions and the domestic market contributed largely to the excellent result, the EU and other foreign countries are responsible for the turnover plus.

Occupation has tended positive in the past years, since three years it is noteworthy that there was a steady domestic growth as against the longtime adverse trend.

Wages and salaries increased markedly, and in total +2.6 % (2016 +2.3 %) and thanks to a lower number of working days resulting also to lower total working hours (-0.3%). Clothing shows more discrepancy between the increase of wages and salaries (+3.7 %) as against delivered working hours (-0,7 %)  and textiles (+2,0 %, respectively +/- 0.0 %.

Production increased 2017 in textiles – similar to 2016 – by 3.0 %, whereas clothing (domestic production) and despite good economic conditions contracted by 2.2 %. However the production index has only a limited meaningfulness.

Prices and retail – manufacturing price index (domestic sales) for textile products is practically not moving over the past months. Manufacturing prices in clothing increased only 0.1 % and textile products increased slightly by 0.6 %.

Total German retail proceeds (including footware) increased 2017 – after a disappointing 2016  – by distinct 5.1 %, in catalogue and online sales by +7.3 %. Clothing special retailing advanced by 8.0 % markedly, after a negative 2016, meaning markedly over the results of general retailing in 2017, increasing proceeds by 4.4 %.

A longtime comparison between brick and mortar and online trade shows that the important turnover increases of several years result from the online and catalogue business.

Exports of the German textile and clothing industry have increased totally by 11.3 %. The majority of the increases are based upon a structural change product registration, particularly with Switzerland. Disregarding exceptional items, clothing exports increased in important countries and regions, the pain was on the Turkish market. Export chances to Russia seem to recuperate. Resistant to crisis were the export markets of the USA and UK. The EU domestic markets remains the most important export channel.