Latest figures of this week shared by the Foundation of the Swiss Watch Industry are in and they are sending a bit of a mixed signal but with a positive endresult.
‘Results for April varied across different markets. The negative change in exports to Hong Kong (-3.9%) accentuated the slowdown in growth that began in late 2018. The trend in the United States (+16.8%) was in the opposite direction and confirmed the strength of the situation there, in spite of a negative base effect. Japan (+21.2%) posted its fourth consecutive month of strong growth, while China (-5.5%) lost ground. Singapore (+18.8%) was another fast-growing market. The situation in Europe (-4.3%) was more mixed, with the United Kingdom (+7.2%) exerting less influence on the figures than during the first quarter.’
The numbers in US, Japan and Singapore are delicious, the China numbers less so but they are no surprise. The mass exports to the UK in anticipation of Brexit and therefore building up local stocks have slowed down. I’m in fact a bit surprised they still show +7% following the unusually high exports to the UK in the previous months.
We continue to see the lower value watches taking a hit in export data and the steep decline further continues: ‘All segments below 3,000 francs (export price) saw steep declines. The reduction in the number of timepieces priced below 200 francs was -23.6%. Watches priced over 3,000 francs remained positive, helping to stabilise the trend in export turnover’.