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Economy needs stimulus

Jul 13,2019 - Last updated at Jul 13,2019

President of the Textile and Readymade Clothes Syndicate Muneer Deyeh disclosed recently that the sale of garments and shoes in the country has dramatically declined by 35 per cent during the first half of this year compared with the same period last year.

He attributed this dramatic decline to the slowness of the economy, coupled with the application of high customs duties and high taxes on these goods.

The import of these goods, mainly from Turkey and China, also nosedived to the tune of JD63 million during the first half of this year, compared with JD81 million for the same period last year.

The impact of this slowness in the garments and clothing business can be better appreciated in the light of the fact that 53,000 people are employed in these businesses by 11,800 merchants and shop owners.

No matter how one looks at these disappointing figures, they all share one narrative and point in one direction: Creeping recession has devastated the country and affected many businesses, and not only shoes and garments.

The solution to this recession is obvious to pundits and laymen alike: The national economy is still weak despite all the efforts of the government and it desperately needs a stimulus to pick up steam.

The government probably shares this assessment but lacks the resources to inject the necessary stimulus into the national economy.

To be sure, the government has made great strides in the campaign to uplift the country from its current stagnation, but not to the extent necessary.

The improvements in the economy are by and large bits and pieces here and there, but not enough to make a difference. Donor countries have also failed to live up to expectations and slowed down their support instead of increasing their input to the national economy.

As a result, the country remains self-reliant to a great extent. The outcome is the dismal figures we hear from the garment and shoes businesses.

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