By  on April 7, 2006

Domestic textile and apparel producers cut a seasonally adjusted 4,600 jobs last month, as the overall economy added 211,000 positions, pushing the unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent.

The overall job growth could eventually help retailers that have seen soft sales since a surge in January.

“The only thing that really matters to a consumer is whether he or she is employed, that’s the bottom line,” said Richard Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research Corp. “For the [Federal Reserve], I think it means higher interest rates. The Fed’s going to continue to raise rates because of fears of an economy that is gathering a great deal of speed.”

Last month, the Fed raised its benchmark federal funds interest rate a quarter point to 4.75 percent and is expected to continue that trend for at least one more hike.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow's WWD.

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