Nicaraguans have drastically reduced the purchase of footwear and new clothes. Imports of these products recorded a decline of 8.20% in value and 7.16% in volume, between January and June of this year.
Similarly, the national production of clothing and footwear also shows a reduction of almost 30%, according to union representatives of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Leather Shoes (CNCC), Chamber of Leather and Footwear Nicaraguan (Camcunic) and owners of textile workshops that chose not to give their name.
Between January and June, importers bought 22,916 tons of clothing and footwear, lower than the same period last year when they received 24,683 tons. This reduction was the most marked in the last five years, as reflected in the non-durable consumer goods statistics published by the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN).
The sharpest reduction was in the month of June.
The lower imports will mean lower sales figures for the end of the year commerce, retailers reducing their orders, some up to half of their normal holiday season purchases.
Alejandro Delgado, president of Camcunic, indicates that this behavior of reduction in imports is due to two reasons: the fear that the situation will not be normalized by the end of the year and limited financing.
Besides the reduction of imports, local workshops are not producing at the same capacity, according to the president of CNCC, Santos Reyes.
Union representatives point out that they will not reach the growth targets because only 70% of the Masaya and Granada workshops are working at full capacity because of the high percentage of labor that has migrated.
“If crisis had not happened everything would be different. The workshops would not have halted or reduced production and we would have provided the growth that we have been proposing year after year, which is 12% and 14%,” said Reyes.