According to the data from Industrial Economic Research Institute of China National Textile and Apparel Council, in 2018, the external situation faced by China’s textile industry was generally complicated with increased development pressures. The whole industry adheres to the general tone of the work of striving for stability and progress, actively deepens the structural reform of the supply side, vigorously promotes high-quality development, and strives to resolve various external risks.
Throughout the year, the economic operation of the textile industry was basically normal, which was generally consistent with the external environment and its own development stage of the industry. The growth level of the main operational indicators was generally in line with expectations; the business climate was relatively stable; and the characteristics of high-quality development gradually appeared.
The main economic operation indicators of the textile industry have achieved positive growth. According to the National Bureau of Statistics and China Customs data, in 2018, the retail sales of clothing, shoes, hats and needles above designated size increased by 8% year on year, and the growth rate was 0.2 percentage point higher than that of 2017.
The total export volume of textiles and garments (Chapter 50 - 63) reached 276.73 billion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 3.5%, and the growth rate increased by 2% over the previous year. The national 37,000 textile enterprises above designated size achieved a revenue of 570.35 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 2.9%; the growth rate slowed by 1.3 percentage points from the previous year.
The total profit reached 276.61 billion yuan, an increase of 8% over the same period of the previous year, 1.1 percentage points faster year on year. According to statistics, the completion of fixed asset investment in the whole industry increased by 5% year on year, a slight slowdown of 0.2 percentage point from the previous year.
The reform of the supply side of the textile industry continued to advance and the results gradually appeared. The domestic demand market continued to play the primary supporting role. The online retail sales growth was particularly good. In 2018, the national online retail sales of online products increased by 22% year on year, and the growth rate was 1.7 percentage points higher than that in 2017.
The utilization of production capacity remained at a high level. The capacity utilization rates of the chemical fiber industry and the textile industry (excluding garments and textile machinery) reached 81.8% and 79.8%, respectively, both higher than the national average of 76.5%. The profitability of enterprises has improved. The sales profit rate of textile enterprises above designated size is 5.2%, an increase of 0.3 percentage points year on year.
The three terminal industries, including industrial textiles, home textiles and garments maintained stable momentum throughout the year. The contribution of chemical fiber and textile machinery to the economic development of the whole industry increased. Among them, the main business income, total profit and investment completion of the chemical fiber industry respectively increased by 12.4%, 10.3% and 29% year on year, significantly higher than the industry average.
The business climate is stable. According to the survey data of China National Textile and Apparel Council, in the fourth quarter of 2018, the textile industry business climate index was 57.8, up 4.7 points from the third quarter; the annual industry business index was in the expansion range of 50 or more.
In 2019, the external environment faced by the textile industry became more complex and severe. On the one hand, domestic and international market demand growth still has a certain supporting base. The Central Economic Work Conference has made an important judgment that China’s development is still and will be in the long-term strategic opportunity period, indicating that China’s overall stable macroeconomic environment and the continuously upgraded domestic demand market will still provide the basic driving force for the innovation and development of the textile industry. The proposal to form a strong domestic market has also pointed out important development directions for the textile industry. The driving force for sustained global economic growth still exists, and the guiding measures to promote the Belt and Road will promote the textile industry to further explore the diversified international market.
On the other hand, various uncertainties and instabilities have increased significantly. The dollar liquidity contraction and international trade protectionism have intensified, which has increased the downside risks of the global economy. China’s macro economy is also facing greater pressure due to the rise of international environmental risks. In particular, the Sino-US trade frictions are tortuous and difficult to resolve completely in the short term, greatly increasing the uncertainty of the international trade environment of the textile industry, which not only directly affects export orders and related production and employment, but also has potential impacts on the international procurement pattern, the location of the international division of labor and the structure of the investment layout of the textile industry in China.
Under the situation of the macro-environment featured by “stability with changes, changes with concerns”, the development pressure of the textile industry is further intensified. It is even more urgent and arduous to continue to maintain a stable and sound development trend and give full play to the mission of contributing to the national economy. The textile industry will profoundly understand and grasp the current important strategic opportunity period, further deepen the supply-side structural reform, vigorously promote high-quality development, effectively meet the domestic market, actively stimulate domestic demand potential, strive to stabilize the international market share, and continue to maintain economic operations. The situation is basically stable and healthy, and the 70th anniversary of the motherland will be presented with good development achievements.