By Michelle Graff
Washington—The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that Americans spent nearly $77 billion on jewelry and watches in 2017, an increase of 5 percent over 2016.

The bureau is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Each year, it releases an index estimating how much consumers spend on various products, from jewelry and watches to musical instruments to bicycles.

The watch and jewelry (both costume and fine) total for 2017 was $76.85 billion, up from $73.2 billion the prior year, according to the BEA.

This year’s figures, however, came with some major revisions.

Last year, the BEA reported that 2016 jewelry sales hit $85.4 billion.

However, spokesman Thomas Dail told National Jeweler that the BEA revised its data after receiving updated numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau’s new Annual Retail Trade Survey statistics for 2016, along with revised data for prior years. The revisions of dollar estimates for consumer spending on jewelry and watches stretched back to 2008.

The changes, however, don’t alter the pattern of spending on jewelry and watches over the past 10 years.

As reported last August, 2016 still was a record year, even with the spending estimate revised down by 14 percent, from $85.4 billion to $73.2 billion. And that record was topped in 2017, when spending on jewelry and watches reached nearly $77 billion.

BEA data also shows that after totaling $64.53 billion in 2008, sales fell by 8 percent the following year as the Great Recession took its toll.

The market didn’t begin to recover until 2011. Jewelry and watch sales have risen each year since, according to the BEA, albeit incrementally.

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