Clothing and textile sectors headed for further slump

Although capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector improved from 43.7 percent in the first half of 2010 to 57.2 percent during the same period this year, the clothing, textile and printing sectors have remained poor and are expected to decline next year.

These sectors were major employers especially in industrial hubs like Bulawayo.

According to figures released by Finance Minister Tendai Biti, capacity utilisation in the clothing sector declined from 30 percent in 2010 to 25 percent this year and is expected to remain static at 25 percent next year.

The textile sector is heading for a further slump with capacity utilisation down from 23 percent last year to 20 percent his year and 19 percent next year.

Paper printing and publishing will be down to 25 percent last year having stood at 32 percent last year.

Biti said the major factors constraining these sectors was low product demand, obsolete machinery susceptible to frequent breakdowns, lack of working capital and raw materials.

Here is Biti’s budget statement for 2012

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