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February 1, 2018

China apparel earnings rise as factory growth slows

China's apparel industry earned nearly 3% more in 2017 than it did the year before, new figures show, with textiles also seeing growth despite the country's efforts to control factory pollution.

By Michelle Russell

China’s apparel industry earned nearly 3% more in 2017 than it did the year before, new figures show, with textiles also seeing growth despite the country’s efforts to control factory pollution.

According to the latest figures from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), earnings for the apparel and accessories sector climbed 3.6% to CNY1.26trn (US$200.9bn). Revenues were up 1.1% to CNY21.90trn.

For the textile sector, earnings reached CNY1.98trn, a 3.6% increase on 2016, while revenues grew 3.7% to CNY37.98trn.

Outlining the earnings achieved by China’s industrial enterprises in 2017, the Bureau noted a 21% year-on-year increase in earnings, while the growth rate was up 12.5 percentage points from 2016.

In January, however, China’s manufacturing expansion slowed for the second consecutive month as slack demand hit the economy amid efforts to control pollution and reduce overcapacity.

The manufacturing purchasing manager’s index (PMI), a gauge of factory conditions, stood at 51.3 in January, the Bureau said, compared to 51.6 in the previous month. A figure above 50 is considered growth, while anything below that is a contraction.

The upcoming Chinese New Year holiday is understood to have boosted manufacturing in consumer goods including textiles, agriculture and food and drink.

Last year, the Chinese Government shut down tens of thousands of factories, including garment and textile facilities, in an unprecedented crackdown on air pollution. The country has signalled its willingness to tolerate a slowdown in economic growth in exchange for an improved environment.

China closes 80,000 factories in air pollution crackdown

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