The textile industry fears that these problems will mean unemployment, since many factories are being forced to adjust their production costs.
The decrease in trade in the main market for free zones is having an impact on the growth of the zones.
Last year exports totaled $969 million, a 10% growth. But this year things are not looking well, projections are for $950 million in exports, less than in 2007.
Income from textile exports dropped in August 2008 compared to the same month in 2007, from %96.5 million to $74.5 million this year.
According to data from the National Free Zone Commission, the reduction in exports reveals that the crisis in the textile and manufacturing sector runs deep and is also affected by the financial shock and recession experienced by the US economy.
In January, textile exports under free zone regime grew by 26.3% in value compared to January 2010.
According to information from the Nicaraguan Association of Textiles and Apparel (Anitec) during the same month last year the increase in volume was 25%, totaling 25.6 million square meters (unit of measurement for clothing), figure which even exceeds the January 2007 exports (21.2 million square meters) before the financial crisis.
The textile sector foresees a 7% increase in exports for 2009, despite the economic crisis.
La Prensa Grafica published on its website: "However, according to businessmen in the sector, this prospect for growth might not be met due to local bank credit restrictions, not necessarily because of the fall in demand in the North American country.
During the month of April 2009, there were $87.4 million exported to the US, Guatemala’s main trading partner, 12.7% higher than what was exported in March.
Alejandro Ceballos, president of the Committee of Textiles and Clothing (VESTEX), believes that the sector will show greater recovery in July, when the strong season will begin in the US for the sector.
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