The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) released its ApparelStats 2013 and ShoeStats 2013 reports, serving as snapshots of the U.S. apparel and footwear industry market trends.
ApparelStats and ShoeStats examine the latest business and trade information related to U.S. consumption, production, employment, imports and retail prices.
"Four million Americans help you get dressed every day," said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. "And increasingly complex global value chains mean that those four million Americans are working harder than ever to bring American families the clothes and shoes they want and need."
"As a result," said Burke, "apparel and footwear contributed $354 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, a bigger contribution than new cars, fast food, or practically any other industry."
Building on the turnaround first seen in 2011, U.S. manufacturing of apparel (+8.5%) and footwear (+9.0%) continued to grow in 2012. Thanks to that growth, the import penetration, or the percentage of the U.S. market that is supplied by imports, declined slightly again in 2012 for both apparel and footwear, continuing the first-ever declines in import penetration witnessed in 2011.
"While reshoring efforts are making a measurable impact in the apparel and footwear industry, the vast majority of products are still made outside our borders," said Burke. "Trade agreements with our global partners remain a large part of the sourcing decisions made by executives every day.
“The average duty rate paid on all imports hovers at just over one percent, yet the average rate for U.S. footwear imports was still more than 10% in 2012 and more than 13% for U.S. apparel imports.
"As companies continue to diversify away from China, increased utilization of Free Trade Agreements and passage of commonsense legislation such as the Affordable Footwear Act will benefit everyone, from the four million Americans in our industry to hardworking American families who buy clothes and shoes for their children and themselves."
Key facts from ApparelStats 2013:
While U.S. apparel consumption by volume declined slightly in 2012, the value of that consumption (measured by Personal Consumption Expenditures) grew by 4.8 percent to $282.2 billion at retail.
This continued growth reflects both the increase in retail prices driven by higher supply chain costs, including increases in materials, labor, and transportation, as well as consumers returning to purchases of apparel at higher price-points coming out of the recession.
97.5 percent of apparel sold in the United States is made internationally. Thanks to a continued growth in U.S. apparel manufacturing, that was a 0.2 percent decline from 2011.
China remains the # 1 global market for U.S. cotton exports, the #2 global market for U.S. yarn exports and the #3 global market for U.S. fabric exports.
Overall U.S. apparel employment grew for a third straight year, by 0.8 percent in 2012, to a total of 2.91 million American workers, yet remains below pre-recession levels.
On average, every American, including every man, woman, and child in the United States, spent $898 to purchase 62 garments in 2012.