GENEVA — Global textile production in the first quarter expanded 4.9 percent, but increased by only 2.1 percent for apparel compared to the same period a year earlier, a United Nations report said.
The gains were spearheaded by developing and emerging economies — such as Turkey and China — which delivered an average increase of 6.1 percent for textiles and 3.6 percent for apparel, while production in developed countries grew by an average of only 1 percent for textiles and fell by 4.2 percent for apparel.
But U.S. production of textiles grew by an above-average 1.3 percent, and Italy also posted a strong gain of 5.4 percent. Germany saw an increase of 1.9 percent, and France an increase of 1.4 percent, while Canada posted a fall of 4.5 percent.
During January to March, textile production among emerging economies rose by 8.2 percent in Turkey, 7.3 percent in China, 4 percent in Mexico and 2.4 percent in both India and Indonesia, but registered falls in recession-hit Brazil of 15.8 percent, and a drop of 0.7 percent in South Africa, the report by the Vienna-based U.N. Industrial Development Organization said.
Similarly, apparel output during the quarter among emerging economies, it said, witnessed increases of 12.2 percent in Turkey, 6.8 percent in neighboring Mexico, 4.9 percent in China, and 3.5 percent in India, but registered a fall of 3.4 percent in Peru.
Among developed nations, apparel production secured a double-digit increase of 14.1 percent in Spain, 2.3 percent in Canada and 0.4 percent in France, but experienced declines of 10.4 percent in Italy, 7.7 percent in the U.S. and 5.8 percent in Germany.
Overall, world manufacturing growth “continued to be sluggish in the first quarter of 2016,” due to the fragile recovery in rich industrialized countries and the “significantly weakened growth prospects” in developing and emerging nations, UNIDO’s quarterly report said, noting that output during the quarter rose by 2.1 percent compared with the same period last year.