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1992 U.S. TEXTILE INDUSTRY BUSINESS REVIEW

 WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Business conditions for the U.S. textile industry showed steady improvement in 1992, with increases in shipments, production, profits, employment and capital spending, the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) said today.
 In its annual business review for 1992, ATMI said that the otherwise optimistic report was clouded by 14 consecutive months of textile and apparel import increases resulting in a record annual level. Imports were up 20 percent from 1991. The textile and apparel trade deficit grew steadily, totaling $32.0 billion in 1992, 21 percent greater than in 1991.
 "Consumers began buying more clothing and home furnishings in 1992 as the country started to pull out of the recession," said ATMI President M.L. Cates Jr. "At the same time, textile and apparel imports surged into this country.
 "While business did improve for the U.S. textile industry during the first part of 1992, we began to see a decline in new orders, a buildup of inventories and a leveling off of employment growth later in the year," Cates said. "The big question for 1992 is how sustained will consumer spending be and how much will imports continue to grow."
 ATMI's business review for 1992, compared with 1991, showed:
 -- A 5 percent increase in the textile production index and a 7
 percent increase in textile shipments, which totaled $72.4
 billion in 1992;
 -- A 1 percent increase in textile employment, which grew to
 678,000;
 -- A record level of profits, which increased from $833 million to
 $1.9 billion, caused in part by a drop in the cost of cotton
 prices, improved productivity and a reduction of long-term debt
 in the industry; and
 -- A 7 percent increase in capital spending, which rose to $2.09
 billion.
 "The resurgence of capital spending is a strong indication of the textile industry's confidence in the future," Cates said. "That outlook would be encouraged by new tax initiatives designed to strengthen manufacturing and investment."
 On the international trade front, Cates said the U.S. textile industry is optimistic about potential effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
 "We think the NAFTA will give our industry a much needed shot in the arm, enabling us to work with Mexico and Canada for mutual new growth opportunities," Cates said. "A NAFTA can curb the steady increases in imports from the Far East and the job losses they have caused in the United States during the last decade."
 Nearly $42 billion worth of textile and apparel goods were imported into the United States in 1992, compared with $35 billion in 1991. In square meters, the imports grew from 12.8 billion to 14.8 billion; the increase alone is the equivalent of 8.8 billion shirts or 37 billion towels. More than 61 percent of clothing purchased in the United States were made either entirely offshore or of imported fabric.
 Cates said that the U.S. textile industry will continue to work with its European counterparts in 1993 to promote a set of "fair trade" principles they have developed for use in future global trade negotiations. The principles call for competing internationally on terms that are equitable and reciprocal.
 "In 1993 U.S. textile companies will continue to fight for fair trade practices worldwide," Cates said. "We will also continue enhancing our competitiveness through investment in the latest machinery and Quick Response strategies designed to speed deliveries and cut inventories through increased communication and cooperation among all sectors of the industry. At the same time, we will remain committed to environmental preservation and educational improvements in our workforce."
 ATMI, the national trade association of the U.S. textile industry, provides international trade, government relations, communications, economic information and product services in support of the industry.
 A summary of textile industry benchmarks follows:
 TEXTILE INDUSTRY BENCHMARKS - 1991 & 1992
 (Prepared by the American Textile Manufacturers Institute)
 1991 1992E Pct. chg.
 Production Index (1987 equals 100) 1992-1991
 Textiles 100.5 105.5 5
 All manufacturing 107.5 109.4 2
 Shipments (U.S. Dept. of Commerce)
 (billion $) $67.6 $72.4 7
 Profits (after taxes)
 (million $) $ 833 $1,900 130
 Earnings on sales
 Textiles 1.4 pct. 3.1 pct. ---
 All manufacturing 2.5 pct. 3.9 pct. ---
 Earnings on stockholders equity
 Textiles 6.0 pct. 11.6 pct. ---
 All manufacturing 6.4 pct. 10.0 pct. ---
 Employment (yearly average)
 Textiles 672,000 678,000 1
 All manufacturing 18,454,000 18,204,000 -1
 Hourly earnings (average) $8.30 $8.59 3
 Weekly earnings (average) $337.27 $352.64 5
 Index of manhours worked (1982 equals 100)
 Textiles 97.2 99.5 2
 All manufacturing 102.2 102.3 ---
 Producer Price Index
 Textiles (1982 equals 100) 117.7 118.9 1
 All industrial commodities
 (1982 equals 100) 116.5 117.4 1
 Textile capital spending (billion $) $1.96 $2.09 7
 Textile & apparel imports
 (million CIF $) $35,038 $41,953 20
 Textiles only $ 7,339 $ 8,286 13
 Textile & apparel exports
 (million FAS $) $ 8,669 $ 9,915 14
 Textiles only $ 5,457 $ 5,787 6
 Textile & apparel trade balance
 (million $) ($26,369) ($32,038) 21(a)
 Textiles only ($ 1,882) ($ 2,499) 33(a)
 Textile & apparel imports
 (million sme) 12,772 14,797 16
 Textiles only 6,622 7,594 15
 E means 1992 data estimated from latest year-to-date information
 (a) increase in the deficit
 -0- 12/29/92
 /CONTACT: Deborah E. Anderson of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, 202-862-0513 or, home, 703-476-6436/


CO: American Textile Manufacturers Institute ST: District of Columbia IN: TEX SU:

RA-BN -- AT006 -- 0302 12/29/92 11:15 EST
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Date:Dec 29, 1992
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