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Data compiled by GlobalData suggests the global macro outlook, which includes the global economy had the biggest impact on apparel supply chain hiring for most of Q2 2023 (1 April to 30 June).

Source: GlobalData

How is the global economy impacting apparel supply chain hiring

The global macro outlook theme was most prominent during May, however it remained the most important theme affecting supply chain hiring from mid April until the end of the quarter on 30 June.

This is not surprising given ongoing rates of high inflation leading consumers to prioritise their spending, as well as high energy rates, an ongoing war in Ukraine and tensions between the US and China all having a negative effect on the global apparel supply chain.

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In fact in May, when the global macro outlook was having the biggest impact on supply chain hiring, Gherzi Textil Organisation Robert Antoshak told Just Style it could take a year for the global apparel industry’s outlook to improve given nine out of 15 key economic factors were weakening.

He explained the economic factors causing concern included rocky interest rates, lower retail sales, excess inventory, consumer anxiety about the future and weakened GDP growth.

More recently (7 July) the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz admitted the US economic headwinds would affect consumer spending in the coming months. But he also shared some enthusiasm for the next quarter and stated: “The first half of the year is over, and the economy is still moving in the right direction.”

Other key themes having the biggest impact on apparel supply chain hiring in the second quarter included the supply chain itself and Europe’s macro outlook, which is very similar to the global macro outlook as the region is also struggling with high inflation rates and the impact of high energy rates and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war.

Interestingly, despite a growing interest in AI and Internet of Things in 2023, GlobalData does not list digitalisation as having an impact on supply chain hiring within the second quarter.

Similarly, despite health and safety constantly making headlines in relation to fashion supply chains around the world, it isn’t listed as a major theme for the quarter either.

On 21 July Labour rights organisation the Workers Rights Consortium praised US fashion conglomerate Gap Inc. for signing the Pakistan Accord for health and safety, however it urged other big US fashion brands to do the same so perhaps health and safety will be listed as a bigger theme for apparel supply chain hiring in Q3.