Surveys

US Jewelry, Watch Sales Taper Off in May

SurveysJul 07, 2022

US Jewelry, Watch Sales Taper Off in May

The jewelry and watch market is expected to see more moderate growth this year compared with 2021.

A moonstone, Paraiba tourmaline, and diamond pendant from Omi Privé ($9,000). U.S. watch and jewelry sales slowed in May, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
New York—U.S. watch and jewelry sales tapered off in May, government data shows.

Sales in the category were up nearly 11 percent year-over-year, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Sales were up 16 percent year-over-year in April and up 10 percent in March.

Though still on the rise, the double-digit growth in May 2022 pales in comparison with the triple-digit growth in May 2021.

Watch and jewelry sales for the full year are expected to rise but not nearly as high as last year.

In 2021, dubbed by industry analyst Edahn Golan as “the year of jewelry,” full-year sales in the category reached an estimated $115.29 billion, a 51 percent increase year-over-year, according to BEA data.

This year, as of May, full-year watch and jewelry sales are expected to reach an estimated $126.13 billion, a 9 percent year-over-year increase.

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The overall economy is expected to take a similar path of slowed growth.

“The economy is moving away from extremely strong growth toward moderate growth,” said National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in the organization’s Monthly Economic Review.

In the July review, Kleinhenz gave an overview of the current economic situation.

Consumers are battling rising prices as the inflation rate hits a 40-year high.

Overall U.S. retail sales in May slumped, down 0.3 percent month-over-month, though up 8 percent year-over-year.

The consumer price index, which measures the average change in prices over time consumers will pay for a basket of goods and services, rose 1 percent month-over-month in May.

It was up nearly 9 percent year-over-year, the largest 12-month increase since December 1981.

The Federal Reserve recently raised the interest rate to combat inflation, which weighs down stock and bond returns and impacts consumer confidence.

Consumers are also feeling the effects of the war in Ukraine, which has led to geopolitical instability and has driven up energy prices and exacerbated supply chain issues.

Kleinhenz also shared his predictions for the next few years ahead, noting that while he doesn’t necessarily see a recession in the U.S.’s future, a “contracting economy” just short of recession levels is possible.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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