Consumer confidence levels are high in many of the major wool consuming countries so we could hope that consumers are spending more on products, incuding on clothing. The latest data on retail sales of clothing in the key wool consuming countries is mixed but quite encouraging. The latest data on growth rates show that clothing retail sales in the full 2016 year were generally lower than in 2015 and lower than in previous years for a number of countries but clothing retail sales in China, Germany, France and the UK so far in 2017 are above the growth rates seen in 2016 as we head towards the Autumn/Winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. The growth rate in the UK is particularly strong, but this is a rebound from the dismal decline seen in 2016. While the situation in Japan is better than in 2016, retail sales of clothing in department stores is still declining. Finally, retail sales growth in the US, South Korea and Italy are all below the rate achieved in 2016 to August.
Further details, including a chart showing the trends in consumer confidence and a table of the growth rate of consumer confidence in the major wool consuming countries is contained in the Weekly Newsletter for 13th October. Available to NCWSBA members.