EU Short-Term Business Statistics

The year 2019 and 2020 short-term prospects

Textile and clothing manufacturing remained under pressure during 2019, despite good retail sales and export performances. Furthermore, industry confidence fell dramatically in March 2020, reflecting managers’ crashing production expectations,
due to the Coronavirus crisis.



Retail sales0.90.9
Extra-EU imports0.84.2
Extra-EU exports1.57.3
Trade Deficit-3.71.9

Data for the textile and clothing industry in 2019 match Europe’s economic slowdown, but the outlook for 2020 is worsening due to the Coronavirus crisis.

Data up to December 2019 reflects Europe’s economic slowdown over the period, with manufacturing remaining under pressure from Brexit and trade frictions. Employment in the textile & clothing sector further declined, stemming from accelerated drop in industrial production. EU27 turnover evolution turned negative in 2019, after a constant deterioration throughout the year. However, some positive signs are still coming from the retail sales and global trade, which is now exceeding €170 bn.

2020 short-term outlook

The EU industry confidence indicator for the months ahead, based on the EU Commission’s March 2020 survey*, fell dramatically in the textile and clothing industry. This very negative business climate is confirmed by the EURATEX poll on the Coronavirus impact, based on a restricted sample of companies.
– More than half of companies expect a drop in sales and production by more than 50%;
– 9 out of 10 companies face serious constraints on their financial situation;
– 80% of companies is (temporarily) laying off workers.

Measures need to be taken to reduce/delay financial pressure (tax payments, employers payments…) and provide soft loans/credits.

* European business cycle indicators and Business Consumer Survey (subsector database)

The full report is available exclusively to EURATEX members: see Statistics in Focus n°42, available on the EURATEX Members Area

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