U.S. jewelry and watch sales drop in May

New York—Sales of watches and jewelry in the United States fell in May, according to government data.

Sales for the category rose nearly 11% year-over-year, according to preliminary data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Sales were up 16% year-on-year in April and 10% in March.

Although still on the rise, the double-digit growth of May 2022 pales in comparison to the triple-digit growth of May 2021.

Full-year watch and jewelry sales are expected to increase, but not as much as last year.

In 2021, dubbed by industry analyst Edahn Golan as “the year of jewelry,” the category’s annual sales reached approximately $115.29 billion, a 51% year-over-year increase. another, according to BEA data.

This year in May, full-year watch and jewelry sales are expected to reach approximately $126.13 billion, a 9% year-over-year increase.

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The global economy is expected to follow a similar trajectory of slowing growth.

“The economy is moving from extremely strong growth to moderate growth,” National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said in the organization’s Monthly Economic Review.

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

Consumers struggle with rising prices as the rate of inflation hits a 40-year high.

Overall U.S. retail sales fell in May, down 0.3% month-over-month but up 8% year-over-year.

The Consumer Price Index, which measures the average price change over time that consumers will pay for a basket of goods and services, rose 1% month-over-month in May.

It was up nearly 9% year-on-year, the biggest 12-month increase since December 1981.

The Federal Reserve recently raised the interest rate to fight inflation, which is weighing on stock and bond returns and impacting consumer confidence.

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

Kleinhenz also shared his forecast for the next few years, noting that while he doesn’t necessarily see a recession in the future for the United States, a “shrinking economy” just below recession levels is possible.

Floyd N. Morlan