Brazil's fast growing economy and the population's buoyant spending have resulted in a large increase in textile and clothing consumption per head in the country - and a knock-on boost to production, new research shows.

Between 2005 and 2010, textile and clothing production in Brazil rose by 25.2%, and this trend is expected to continue, according to a report in the latest issue of Textile Outlook International.

The industry is prominent in world terms and fulfils a central role in the country's manufacturing sector. In 2010 it produced 2.25m tons of textiles and 1.96m tons of made-up articles, making Brazil the world's fifth largest textile producer and fourth largest clothing producer.

Moreover, there has been a sharp increase in domestic demand as personal disposable incomes have risen, and this has manifested itself in an impressive 50% rise in fibre consumption per head during the five years to 2010.

The increase in domestic demand has been met partly by a surge in imports, according to 'Prospects for the Textile and Clothing Industry in Brazil'. Nonetheless, domestic production has increased at an even faster rate.

Such fast growth has spurred a surge in acquisitions of new and more modern machinery by Brazilian manufacturers in a bid to increase productivity. As a result, the industry is becoming more capital intensive and has seen a reduction in its labour costs.

The industry also benefits from local sources of raw materials, especially cotton. Yields have risen to the point where they are among the highest in the world, and Brazil has become a major cotton exporter.

Not surprisingly, cotton continues to dominate fibre consumption by Brazil's spinning mills, and the country has become the world's second largest producer of denim fabric.

However, the scope for expanding synthetic fibre output and consumption is expected to increase considerably in the future as a result of developments in the country's oil industry. At the same time, costs are likely to be markedly lower and this should provide users of synthetic fibres in the textile and clothing industry with substantial benefits in terms of availability and costs.

Despite increases in production and consumption, Brazil still has enormous potential for further growth.

Economic progress in the past has tended to be erratic and bedevilled by rampant inflation. But today the country appears to be on a steady and sustainable upward path and this should lead to an even better outcome for the Brazilian textile and clothing industry.

Click here for more information on 'Prospects for the Textile and Clothing Industry in Brazil' which is published in issue No 153 of Textile Outlook International.