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Cotton-dominant apparel import prices dip in September
Nov '16
Seasonally-adjusted import prices for cotton dominant apparel decreased in September by 1.4 per cent month-over-month, the lowest since January 2011, according to a recent report. Year-over-year import prices were 3.8 per cent lower on an average and the retail prices for apparel reached their lowest rate in six months in September declining by 0.7 per cent.

The Executive Cotton Update by Cotton Incorporated for the month of November says that consumer garment prices took a marginal hit of 0.1 per cent year-over-year.

Regarding consumer spending, the report states, “In September, the latest month with data on consumer spending available, overall spending was up 0.3 per cent month-over-month (3.6 per cent annualised rate) and was 2.4 per cent higher year-over-year. Apparel spending rose 0.1 per cent month-over-month (1.2 per cent annualised rate) in September and was 0.5 per cent higher year-over-year.”

Since mid-2015, annual pace of growth in apparel spending has been significantly slower (only 1 per cent to 2 per cent) than the strong rates experienced in 2014 and the first half of 2015 (between 4 per cent and 6 per cent).

The Conference Board's Index of Consumer Confidence decreased 4.9 points in October. The decline followed the posting of the highest value since 2007 in September (103.5). The current reading of 98.6 remains one of the highest in recent years. Possible reasons for the decline could be uncertainty regarding the recent elections and seasonality.

About employment in the US, the report says, “The US economy was estimated to have added 161,000 jobs in October. Revisions to figures for August (9,000, from 167,000 to 176,000) and September (35,000, from 156,000 to 191,000) lifted previous estimates by a combined total of 44,000 positions. On an average, payrolls expanded by 181,000 jobs per month thus far into 2016 (January-October). Over the same time period last year, job growth averaged 219,000.”

In its first estimate, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) indicated the US economy grew at a 2.9 per cent annual rate in the third quarter. This was more than double the current estimate for growth in the second quarter (1.4 per cent) and represented the fastest rate of expansion in two years.

Given the continual improvement in the labor market and the stronger growth in GDP, expectations are that the Federal Reserve will decide to make another incremental increase in interest rates at their meeting to be held on December 13 -14. The details stemming from that announcement, as well as the results of the US presidential election might affect exchange rates, adds the report. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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