New Delhi — New Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar market is one of India’s largest garment wholesale hubs, jammed with inexpensive, ready-made garments for the aspirational but price-sensitive lower middle class. The vast array of kids’ party wear, elaborately embellished jeans and other clothes draws traders from across north India, who stock up on merchandise to sell in small-town shops and rural bazaars.

Typically, the run-up to the annual Diwali festival is the market’s peak season, when the narrow lanes are so jammed with buyers hauling clothes it is difficult to move. But this year, traders complain, the festive shopping season has been gloomy, with sales falling precipitously as a deepening economic slowdown hurts ordinary Indians.

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