Byline: Carol Emert

WASHINGTON — Textile mills produced 3.2 percent more goods in 1994 than in 1993, while production of apparel rose a scant 1.3 percent, according to a Federal Reserve report released Tuesday.
Textile output burgeoned in 1994’s fourth quarter, rising 10.7 percent against the third quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis. In December alone, textile production increased 1.6 percent against November, and 7.2 percent against December 1993.
Apparel output, by contrast, fell 0.3 percent in last year’s fourth quarter. In December, apparel production increased 0.5 percent against November and 2.3 percent against December 1993.
Carl Priestland, chief economist with the American Apparel Manufacturers Association, blamed the weak performance of apparel on competition from imports. He questioned even the small increase the Fed reported, noting that employment in the industry dropped in 1994 to a yearly average of about 955,000 from last year’s 985,000.
“I would like to think [the industrial production numbers] are correct and the employment figures are not, but I don’t think so,” Priestland said.
On a brighter note, Carlos Moore, executive vice president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, said textile production growth slightly exceeded ATMI’s projection for 1994 of 3 percent. — Fairchild News Service