Textile, clothing, leather and shoe production statistics - NACE Rev. 1.1
From Statistics Explained
- Data from January 2009. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.
This article introduces a set of statistical articles which analyse the structure, development and characteristics of the economic activities in the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector in the European Union (EU). This sector covers NACE Rev 1.1 Subsections DB and DC, and its activities are treated in more depth in three further articles:
- The manufacture of textiles, corresponding to NACE Division 17;
- The manufacture of wearing apparel and the dressing and dyeing of fur, corresponding to NACE Division 18, and hereafter called the manufacture of clothing;
- The manufacture of leather and leather products including footwear, corresponding to NACE Subsection DC, and hereafter referred to as leather manufacturing.
- 1 Main statistical findings
- 2 Data sources and availability
- 3 Context
- 4 Further Eurostat information
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
Main statistical findings
There were just over 267.0 thousand enterprises in the Member States for which the manufacture of textiles, clothing and leather (NACE Subsections DB and DC) was their main activity in 2006. In relative terms, this sector of the economy was larger in terms of employment than in terms of its value added generated; about 3.0 million people were employed in the sector, corresponding to 2.3 % of the EU-27’s non-financial business economy (NACE Sections C to I and K) workforce, whereas the EUR 64.7 billion of value added corresponded to 1.1 % of the total value added generated across the non-financial business economy in 2006.
The largest activity within the sector (at NACE Division level) was the manufacture of textiles (NACE Division 17), which accounted for a little under one half (46.3 %) of sectoral value added in 2006. Just over one third (34.7 %) of value added was generated by the EU-27’s manufacture of clothing (as defined by the activities in NACE Division 18), with the remainder (18.4 %) being generated by leather manufacturing (NACE Division 19).
Italy was the principal textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing Member State, generating EUR 21.8 billion of value added, which was the equivalent of one third (33.6 %) of EU-27 value added in this sector in 2006. The other main textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing Member States within the EU-27 were Germany (accounting for 12.1 % of the EU-27’s value added), France (11.6 %), Spain (9.2 %) and the United Kingdom (7.8 %). Of these five Member States, only Italy was specialised in the manufacture of textiles, clothing and leather; as this sector contributed 3.4 % of the value added generated in its non-financial business economy, three times the average contribution recorded across the EU-27 in 2006. However, this measure of specialisation was even stronger in Romania and Bulgaria. In Romania, the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector contributed 5.3 % to the value added generated across its non-financial business economy in 2005; in Bulgaria this proportion was 4.7 %.
This relative specialisation was also clear in terms of employment. There were a number of regions in Romania where between 8 % and 15 % of the non-financial business economy workforce were employed in the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector. The most specialised region (at the level of detail shown in the map) was Norte in Portugal, however, where about one in every five (18.3 %) persons employed in the non-financial business economy worked in textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing. There was also high specialisation of textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing in many regions of Italy, as well as across Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and Bulgaria (which are each considered as a single region at the level of detail in the map).
There was a strong downward trend in the index of production for textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing for the EU-27 during the period between 1997 and 2007, at a time when there was a relatively steady rise in total industrial output. Textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing output declined by one third in the ten years through to 2007, at an average rate of 4.0 % per year, although the falls in 2006 (-1.3 %) and 2007 (-0.6 %) were much more moderate than this longer-term trend. This output pattern was also reflected in the production indices of each of the three main types of manufacturing. However, the declines noted for leather manufacturing (an average -5.4 % per year over the ten years through until 2007) and clothing (an average -5.3 % per year) were almost twice as strong as for textile manufacturing (an average -2.8 % per year).
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs, enterprises employing less than 250 people) dominated the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector in the EU-27, accounting for around three quarters of sectoral value added (74.5 %) and employment (75.3 %) in 2006. This size structure set the sector apart from most industrial activities in the EU-27, as across the EU-27's industrial economy (NACE Sections C to E) as a whole SMEs generated less than half (42.5 %) of total value added. The share of value added generated by SMEs in the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector was also significantly higher than the average (57.9 %) across the non-financial business economy.
Across industry and the non-financial business economy, the apparent productivity of labour tended to rise through the size classes, suggesting economies of scale. In contrast, there was almost no distinction between the apparent labour productivity levels of the size classes within the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector. Indeed, across all size classes within the sector, the apparent labour productivity level was low (between EUR 17.0 thousand and EUR 23.0 thousand per person employed) and about one half of the average across the EU-27’s non-financial business economy (EUR 44.0 thousand per person employed).
The textiles and clothing manufacturing subsector and the leather manufacturing subsector were the only industrial subsections that employed more women than men across the EU-27 in 2007. Indeed, women accounted for a little more than two thirds (69.4 %) of the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing workforce as a whole, which was about twice the average share (35.1 %) across the EU-27’s non financial business economy and even more than the industrial average (30.1 %). With the exception of Belgium and the Netherlands among the Member States for which data are available , women provided a majority of the workforce within the sector. In the Baltic Member States, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, women represented between eight and nine in every ten workers in the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector.
Given the high proportion of women employed in the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector of the EU-27, it is perhaps surprising that the proportion of workers engaged on a part-time basis was as low as 8.2 % in 2007, as it is often a characteristic that activities with a high proportion of women in the workforce are associated with high part-time employment rates. Indeed, part-time workers in the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector were much less common than across the non-financial business economy, where they represented 14.3 % of the workforce.
Another key feature of the workforce was that the proportion of those aged under 30 in the EU-27’s textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector (18.4 %) was much lower than the average across the non-financial business economy (24.3 %) in 2007. The relative difference between the two was made up for in workers aged between 30 and 49 years of age, the proportions of those workers aged 50 years or over being almost identical. The relative absence of young workers in the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector was most acute in Greece, Latvia and the Netherlands, where they represented about a third of the equivalent share of workers aged under 30 across their respective non-financial business economies. Other countries where this characteristic was particularly pronounced included Slovenia, Estonia, Poland and Austria. Indeed, among those Member States for whom data are available , it was only in Romania that the share of young workers in this sector was higher than that across its non-financial business economy in 2007. In contrast, the proportion of workers in the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector aged 50 or over was particularly high in Cyprus (63.6 %), especially when compared against the average (25.2 %) across the whole of its non-financial business economy.
Expenditure, productivity and profitability
The level of tangible investment in the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector was EUR 7.3 billion in 2006, accounting for just 0.7 % of investment across the EU-27’s non-financial business economy. This relative level of investment was lower than the sector’s relative contribution (1.1 %) to value added within the non-financial business economy in 2006, a characteristic that was common across the Member States but particularly notable in some of the key textile, clothing and leather manufacturing Member States like Italy, Bulgaria and Romania. The investment rate across the EU-27’s textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector was 11.3 % in 2006, considerably lower than the average rate for the non-financial business economy (18.4 %). Investment rates for the clothing and leather subsectors were particularly low (7.9 % and 8.9 % respectively).
The average annual cost of personnel within the EU-27’s textile, clothing and leather manufacturing sector was EUR 16.2 thousand per employee in 2006, which is very low and a little more than two fifths (43.9 %) less than the average across the non-financial business economy. This characteristic was apparent in all of the Member States for which data are available , with the exception of Luxembourg where average personnel costs in this sector were above their respective national averages for the non-financial business economy.
Despite relatively low average personnel costs, the proportion of operating expenditure accounted for by personnel costs (20.5 %) was notably higher than the share across the EU-27’s non-financial business economy (16.1 %). These figures support the notion of a low-wage, labour-intensive manufacturing sector.
The apparent labour productivity of those working in the EU-27’s textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector was EUR 21.6 thousand per person employed in 2006. This was almost exactly one half of the average productivity level of all those working across the non-financial business economy, and is very low compared with other sectoral aggregates. This low productivity was all the more notable given the small proportion of part-time employment within the sector. Even after adjusting productivity levels for low average personnel costs, the resulting wage adjusted productivity ratio for the EU-27’s textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector (133.6 %) remained well beneath that (151.1 %) of the non-financial business economy in 2006. The wage adjusted labour productivity ratios for each of the three subsectors (separately textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing) were very similar, with the value added per person employed being between 31 % and 37 % higher than the respective average personnel costs per employee.
Among the Member States, the wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio of the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector was significantly below the national non-financial business economy average , with the exceptions of Luxembourg (where it was about two thirds higher than the non-financial business economy average) and Italy (where it was almost the same).
The gross operating rate of the EU-27's textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector was 8.6 % in 2006, with very similar rates for its three subsectors. As such, this measure of profitability was notably lower than that for the non-financial business economy (10.8 %) as a whole. There were a few Member States, however, where the gross operating rate for the textiles, clothing and leather manufacturing sector was higher than the average for the non-financial business economy; these were Bulgaria (2005), Hungary, Finland, and particularly Luxembourg (where it was more than double the average).
Almost three quarters (72.0 %) of the value of Member States’ export trade in textiles, clothing and leather goods (CPA Subsections DB and DC) was within the European Union (so-called intra-EU trade). The remaining share was exports to non-member countries (so-called extra-EU trade) and was valued at EUR 48.2 billion in 2007. Although this represented a fourth successive year of extra-EU export growth, this level was dwarfed by the value of EU-27 imports. In the first three years after the ending of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing and its textile quotas on 31 December 2004, the value of EU-27 imports of textiles, clothing and leather goods had grown by 27.4 % to EUR 102.6 billion, representing 7.7 % of the value of all industrial imports in 2007. These developments resulted in a further widening of the trade deficit in textiles, clothing and leather goods from the EUR 38.7 billion recorded in 2004 to the EUR 54.5 billion recorded in 2007.
Exports of textiles, clothing and leather goods from the EU-27 accounted for 4.1 % of all industrial exports. There was strong export specialisation in textiles, clothing and leather goods in Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria and, particularly, Romania (where they accounted for 18.8 % of industrial exports). Each of these Member States, as well as Belgium and Lithuania, recorded a trade surplus in these goods in 2007. By far the largest of these trade surpluses was recorded for Italy (EUR 16.7 billion), although this has been steadily eroded over a number of years: by way of example, down from EUR 23.1 billion in 2001. In contrast, the United Kingdom had a trade deficit that widened to EUR 19.5 billion in 2007, by far the largest deficit in these goods among the Member States.
With the removal of quotas, there was a surge of imports from developing countries during 2005, particularly from China. Just under two fifths (38.7 %) of the EU-27’s imports of textiles, clothing and leather goods as a whole came from China in 2007. In more detail, the transitional quantitative limitations on textile and clothing products imports agreed separately between the EU and China limited the growth of imports from China in 2006 and 2007. Nevertheless, the value of textile and clothing imports (CPA Subsection DB) grew by a further 13.0 % in 2007 to EUR 29.2 billion, representing more than a third (36.2 %) of all EU-27 textile and clothing imports. Imports from Turkey also grew relatively strongly (up 6.5 %) to EUR 12.7 billion, the equivalent of 15.8 % of EU-27 imports.
In 2006, two anti-dumping investigations were launched by the European Commission regarding footwear, one concerning China and the other Vietnam. The punitive duties that resulted have not stopped the growth in imports from China, their value rising by 7.7 % to EUR 10.6 billion in 2007, although there was considerably lower growth (up 0.7 %) from Vietnam. As a result of these latest developments, China inched closer to being the origin of one half (47.9 %) of all the EU-27’s imports of leather and leather products in 2007, Vietnam’s share falling slightly to about one tenth (10.6 %).
Data sources and availability
The main part of the analysis in this article is derived from structural business statistics (SBS), including core, business statistics which are disseminated regularly, as well as information compiled on a multi-yearly basis, and the latest results from development projects.
Since the closure of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ten-year, transitional Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) at the end of 2004, the European Union market for textiles, clothing, leather and footwear has been open to far more global competition, particularly from China and other Far Eastern countries. The European Commission published a study on the competitiveness, economic situation and location of production in the textiles and clothing, footwear, leather (and furniture) industries in 2007, which put forward some ideas for consideration: to upgrade knowledge and skills within the sector; to enhance the value added of EU manufactured products, perhaps through emphasising social ethics, environmental and health considerations and ethical sourcing; to enhance the protection of intellectual property; to foster trade and eliminate trade barriers; to improve the integration of fashion and design in the sector and better support young designers.
Further Eurostat information
- Comparative price levels of consumer goods and services
- Consumer goods wholesale trade statistics - NACE Rev. 1.1
- Luxembourg and Malta, not available.
- Denmark, Ireland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Finland, not available.
- Bulgaria, Cyprus, Austria, Poland, Romania and Slovenia, 2005; Denmark, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia, not available.
- Bulgaria, Cyprus, Austria, Poland, Romania and Slovenia, 2005; Denmark, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia, not available.