China's economy is slowing, but the apparel industry is still growing

- Aug 16, 2019-

    If China's economy is slowing, the prices of some raw materials suggest that clothing and footwear consumption in the Chinese market has not been affected.

Take polyester.From adidas sneakers to H&M women's wear to under armour leggings, the raw material used to make synthetic fibres is everywhere.The price of polyester filament yarn in China has risen this year to its highest level since at least 2014, according to official statistics.The main reason, according to Salmon Aidan Lee, a singapore-based consultant for Wood Mackenzie, is a "somewhat unexpected" rise in clothing consumption in the world's most populous country.

    China's consumer confidence index hit its highest level in more than two decades in February, according to the national bureau of statistics.Catherine Lim, a consumer analyst at bloomberg industry research in Singapore, said apparel companies that sell in China have seen strong sales this year.

    China's economic growth slowed in August for the fourth month in a row, early indicators showed, adding to pressure on the government to implement pro-growth policies.While economic and stock market uncertainty may be slowing demand growth, it's certainly true that consumers are still buying the clothes they love.

    "Look at clothing and footwear, these very basic necessities," Lim said."Consumer demand is basically still growing and both July and August looked good.Even if growth does slow, it won't be serious.Of course, you can't expect 20 per cent year-on-year growth in demand, but there is still demand."