Consumer confidence in the major wool consuming countries has risen over the past few months according to the latest data available. This should set a platform for increased consumer spending, although there are few signs that it has yet done so for clothing sales. This lift in consumer confidence is in line with improved economic conditions and predictions. Consumers in the US are the most confident they have been since 2000. Consumers in the EU and China are also the most confident since 2008. Consumer confidence in Japan has lifted recently, while consumer confidence in South Korea jumped sharply.
Despite the strong consumer confidence figures for the US, has dropped in the past 12 months according to the latest data from the US Office of Textile and Apparel (OTEXA). Imported clothing accounts for the vast majority of US retail sales of clothing. In the 12 months to April, the value of US imports of clothing of all fibres fell by 5% to $80.29 billion. The decline is smaller by the quantity of garments, down by 0.4% to 27.11 billion garments.
Full details including a chart showing trends in consumer confidence in the US, the EU, Japan, Korea and China and a second chart showing the trends in the US' imports of clothing by fibre type are included in the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter for the week ending 16th June 2017. Available to NCWSBA members.