Slowed economic recovery at the end of the year for German textiles and clothing sectors

Translated by Virginia F. Bodmer-Altura

The major indicators, such as turnover, occupation and exports show an incresing tendence. Howerver the sentiment is actually and suprisingly marked: foremost the expectations for the domestic production and exports are sinking, this against the general trend. In parts there is to be noted, that the sinking demand, but also the difficult sourcing situation is responsible that it was increasing towards the end of 2021. The higher production prices are following this development, however the increasing costs cannot totally compensate the situation.

The turnovers increased 11.3 % in November 2021 as against the comparison with 2020, accentuated in clothing (+33.4 %), a bit less in the textile sector (+2.6 %), as a result of the marked low specifications of the previous year.

At the end of the forelasting month of 2021, the total turnover of the sector settles at +5.2 %, resulting for textiles with +6.9 % and clothing shows a plus of 1.9 %. For the coming months there could be a slowdown of the recovery, because demand is at the beginning of 2022 rather negative. In addition sourcing has to battle with high pricing and delivery problems.

Occupation is below the values of 2020, but is recuperating slowly: At the end of November 2021 there were 2.9 % less people in a job as compared to 2020. Up to now, on average there were 4.4 % less people engaged.

Domestic production is increasing, however the development in textiles was declining in the past months. Textiles reported + 6.2 % more production as compared to the same period in 2020. Clothing had booked two digit growth and is on level with 2020 with +0.5 %.

Order intake and log on orders show a positive development of the two sectors in the ongoing year, however the actual expectations are rather cloudy (see ifo business climate index and turnover development.

Producer prices stagnated in the past and moved only a little. The exorbitants sourcing prices influenced also the price level of the producers: In 2021 the prices increased by 2.4 % at the textile and 0.7 % at the clothing sector. The trend in both sectors seems to be ascending.

The turnover in the specialised retailer segment is still suffering a lot by the Covid measures, and the crises as such. Up to November 2021 the turnover settled at -8.9 % against the same period in 2020, and increasing prices in retailing could not remedy the situation. The short time turnover estimates will not embetter the situation in the coming months.

Foreign trade shows increasing figures for clothing (+ 7.0 % more exports in November). However the export could be damped by a break, since the actual export estimations are clouded. The figures for textile are still negative, but the comparison with 2020 was also marked by exorbitant turnover figures with PSA, in majority masks. Also textile companies are inhibited in view to their actual export estimations.

The import surplus sank in November 2021 by 25.2 %.

The raw material import increased against November 2020 by 21.6 % as a result of the higher prices.

Ifo-economic sentiment index January 2022

Whereas the economic climate for the producing sector suprisingly markedly clears-up, the indices for textile and clothing are declining. The situation is sceptical and the organisations of the trade are regretting the missing optimism for the coming months. Textiles and clothing form part of the few sectors estimating their export situation pessimisticly. A little more positive is the development of achievable prices, however these cannot compensate for the exorbitant sourcing and production costs.