WASHINGTON — The U.S. economic slowdown continues to effect apparel and textile imports.
The combined volume of apparel and textile imports to the U.S. fell 0.6 percent in April from a year earlier, after plummeting 11.4 percent in March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. April represented the third monthly drop in combined shipments to the U.S. this year.
The U.S. imported 4 billion square meter equivalents of textiles and apparel in April, compared with 3.67 billion SME in March and more than 4 billion SME in April 2007.
"The U.S. market is really weak, as every retailer will tell you," said Charles McMillion, president and chief economist, MBG Information Services. "The combination of a falling currency and a weak market is leading to weak textile and apparel imports."
However, combined textile and apparel imports from China increased 6.6 percent to 1.5 billion SME compared with April 2007. Vietnam's textile and apparel shipments rose 15 percent to 130 million SME, while industry imports from Honduras spiked 18.7 percent to 108 million SME.
Most of the positive numbers were driven by apparel imports. Textile imports decreased across the board for most major suppliers, with Canada, South Korea and Pakistan accounting for the biggest declines compared with last year.
China was one of only two countries in the top 10 list to post an increase in textile imports to the U.S. The country's shipments increased to 1.1 billion SME in April, a 7.2 percent rise compared with last year.
Overall apparel shipments to the U.S. increased 2.5 percent to 1.65 billion SME in April versus last year, and Honduras, Vietnam, Indonesia and El Salvador accounted for the largest increases. The largest suppliers by volume in April were China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Honduras and Mexico.
Apparel imports from China increased 5.4 percent in April from a year earlier to 454 million SME, while shipments from Vietnam increased 16.3 percent to 110 million SME and imports from Honduras surged 19.3 percent to 107 million SME.
The biggest declines among the top suppliers to the U.S. of combined textile and apparel imports were from Canada, South Korea, Pakistan and Indonesia. The top five suppliers of textiles and apparel to the U.S. were China, Pakistan, Mexico, India and South Korea.Overall, the U.S. trade deficit ballooned in April, growing 7.8 percent to $60.9 billion from $56.5 billion in March and exceeding consensus forecasts. Economists said the gap was driven primarily by increased prices and volumes of oil imports.
"The trade deficit heightens the risk of recession and surging unemployment," said Peter Morici, professor at the University of Maryland School of Business.
Money spent on rising fuel prices and foreign manufactured goods is money that won't be spent on U.S. made products, Morici said.
There was some good news, said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist, Global Insight, as exports rebounded after declining in March.
"Although imports also bounced higher in April, export volume growth far outpaced import volume growth, indicating that trade will be a major plus for GDP growth in the second quarter," Gault said.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia