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By 2030, China to become world's biggest apparel market
Jul '16
Current global economic trends suggest that by 2030, the US will be supplanted as the world's biggest market for apparel by China. And India will not be far behind, says The Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor in a report.

Although China's economy has slowed in recent years, a report from Fung Global Retail & Technology shows consumers there are optimistic and generally confident in their economy — and they're willing to spend more in categories that include children's clothing and casual apparel. Meanwhile, the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence showed India's confidence is up three points from the previous quarter.

“In India, the Union Budget presented by the finance minister at the end of February revealed the government's commitment to fiscal consolidation and appears set to pave the way for sustained and inclusive growth,” said Roosevelt D'Souza, managing director, Nielsen India. “In the days following the announcement, an improvement in various macroeconomic indicators was evident, and the government seems to be on its way to achieving its objectives of low inflation, low interest rates and high GDP growth—a scenario optimal for improved consumer spending.”

These positive indicators bode well for apparel makers. GDP and apparel spending in both China and India are projected to more than double over the next 15 years, according to Euromonitor International. By 2030, China will be the world's largest apparel market, followed by the US and India.

Findings from the Euromonitor International show China's GDP is projected to more than double from 68 trillion yuan to 144 trillion yuan by 2030. During the same period, India's GDP is projected to grow 159 per cent from Rs 137 trillion in 2015 to Rs 355 trillion.

Compare that with the World Economic Forum expectation of a more modest global increase in GDP by 2030 of just 40 per cent (per capita). China's positive economic outlook might also stem in part from its “One Belt, One Road” initiative. This is both an economic and diplomatic program that calls for major investment in the region's trade routes. In a recent McKinsey podcast, senior partner Kevin Sneader described what the initiative is and what it means for the region's trade.

“There are two parts to this: the belt and the road,” he said. “The belt is the physical road, which takes one from here all the way through Europe to somewhere up north in Scandinavia. What they call the road is actually the maritime Silk Road, in other words, shipping lanes, essentially from here to Venice. Therefore it's very ambitious, covering about 65 per cent of the world's population, about one-third of the world's GDP, and about a quarter of all the goods and services the world moves.”

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