With Merino wool prices doing so well, it is timely to see what the situation is in the major retail markets for wool and see how retail sales have been going in the Northern Hemisphere Autumn/Winter The good news is that consumers in the major wool consuming countries (the US, countries of the European Union, China, Japan and South Korea)are feeling more and more confident about current economic conditions. Consumer confidence in the US continues to rise steadily and currently sits near the highest level since 2000. Consumer confidence in the European Union is also at the highest level since 2000. In Asia, consumers are increasingly confident, with consumer confidence in China at the highest level since the turn of the millennium. These high consumer confidence levels set the scene for increased consumer spending and, hopefully, good retail sales of wool clothing, carpets, rugs and blankets This seems to be helping retail sales of clothing in the seven major wool consuming countries. The latest data shows that growth in retail sales of clothing was higher in 2017 than in 2016 in five of the seven countries.
Full details, including charts showing the trends in consumer confidence in the US, EU, China, Japan and Korea, as well as a table showing the growth rates for retail sales of clothing in the major wool consuming countries, are provided in the NCWSBA's Weekly Newsletter. Available to NCWSBA Members only.