Blog: Leonie BarrieNew Year, new outlook

Leonie Barrie | 19 December 2008

I'm in the process of writing a management briefing looking at the top apparel industry issues to watch in 2009 – and, as always, it would be nice to have a crystal ball to hand to help me with the task. In the absence of one of those, it’s interesting to see what experts in various fields have to say about their specialist areas, and one of the most consistently accurate is from financial analyst IHS Global Insight.

Its chief economist Nariman Behravesh was pretty much on the mark with eight out of 10 of his predictions for 2008 – so it’s a fair bet he’ll be right again with what he’s forecasting for 2009.

Not surprisingly it makes for gloomy, if compelling, reading.

In a nutshell, he believes the US and world economies are about to suffer through some of the worst recessions in the post-war period. Most measures of economic and financial activity look like they fell off a cliff in September and October, and have been deteriorating at an alarming rate ever since. The United States is now officially in a recession that started in December 2007. Japan and many European countries are in the same boat. At the same time, growth in most emerging markets is faltering. IHS Global Insight believes global growth will be in the 0.0 – 0.5% range during 2009, compared with 2.7% in 2008.

How are apparel firms likely to fare? Well I’m still working on that one, and you’ll have to wait until January to see the prognosis.


COMMENT: Will there be any cash left for 2009?


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