Though U.S. apparel imports inched up in April, demand is weak and growth is muted.
Imports of apparel and clothing accessories were up 1.9% over March at $6.23 billion, but imports slid year to date, according to the most recent Commerce Department data.
April’s apparel trade growth falls in line with total U.S. imports in the month, which were up 2.1% to $220.2 billion.
Apparel exports were $253 million, down from $300 million in March and 3.6% lower year to date.
Overall exports of goods and services from the U.S. totaled $182.8 billion, up 1.4% over March.
The trade deficit widened in the month, jumping 5.3% to $37.44 billion, which points to slow global economic growth. The gap was lower than what economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected, but March’s trade deficit was revised to a lower $35.54 billion (the lowest deficit since 2013) from an earlier estimate of $40.44 billion.
For the first four months of the year, U.S. imports and exports were down roughly 5 percent from the same time a year before.
All signs point to weak global demand at the start of the year, which was further—and consistently—evidenced at retail where brands reported losses, light foot traffic and weather that left stock in their stores.
The strong dollar hasn’t helped global growth much as it has cut into demand for American made, and its rise in value when pegged against other currencies meant exports were pricier for foreign purchasers.
Tech pioneers, including Loomia, are demonstrating that smart textiles are no longer confined to the fashion landscape.Read more
As doors close across the country, retailers like Apple and Forever 21 are looking for new ways to draw consumers in—and often these efforts go far beyond the products on the shelves.Read more
The average freight rates for shipping goods around the world are making minimal declines, but rates are still considerably higher than they were last year.Read more
Digital and human engagement remain key factors of consumers’ shopping experiences.Read more
The list of ills pressuring the sourcing sector isn’t a short one, but according to one industry expert, it’s pricing that rises above all.Read more
Amazon continues to reign e-commerce with its market presence and workplace desirability.Read more
Burberry profits and revenue fall as Bailey transitions, and New York and Company looks to steady the ship.Read more