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U.S. Jewelry & Watch Sales +5% in Sept. to $5.4B

Nov 2, 2015 10:35 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... U.S. jewelry and watch sales from all retail outlets increased 4.8 percent year on year to an estimated $5.39 billion in September, according to preliminary government figures.

The sector’s total for previous months was revised, as is often the case, resulting in the rate of growth for July being lower than previously reported. Jewelry and watch sales improved by 2.1 percent to $5.4 billion in July, down from an earlier estimate of 3.5 percent. August sales rose 1.9 percent to $5.38 billion.

Jewelry sales in September increased 4.8 percent year on year to $4.77 billion, according to Rapaport News estimates, the strongest improvement of the calendar year so far. This comes against a 1.3 percent rise in the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) in September compared with the previous month and a 2.7 drop compared with September last year Watch sales rose 5.2 percent to $632 million, which was also the strongest growth yet in 2015.

However, the CPI for watches fell 1.6 percent during September and was down 2.2 percent from a year earlier. Jewelry and watches sales for the first nine months of the year advanced 1 percent to $48.43 billion, according to preliminary figures. Jewelry sales were up 1 percent to $42.76 billion, while watch sales increased 1 percent to $5.67 billion, as calculated by Rapaport News.

Specialty jewelry store sales, which are tracked separately, were flat at $2.61 billion during August, according to the most recent government data. Specialty-store sales growth for the first eight months to August 2015 fell 1.7 percent to $17.95 billion.

Overall U.S. retail sales rose by just 0.1 percent in September but consumer spending has remained “extremely strong,” Reuters quoted Harm Bandholz, chief economist at UniCredit Research in New York as saying.

“If sentiment had indeed shifted, it would be hard to explain why sales of cars, certainly among the more expensive items, jumped in September to their highest level since July 2005," Bandholz said.
Tags: cpi, data, Rapaport News, US retail
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