Daily Management Review

Global economic uncertainty hits Swiss watch sales


The total purchasing power of global consumers now seems to be declining, coinciding with a slowdown in the global economy, which has resulted in a recession in many manufacturing centers around the world. Central banks are worried that slowing production has already affected consumers.

In 2019, demand for diamonds, jewelry and watches in developed and developing countries fell sharply. This may be the result of consumers cutting costs as uncertainty in the global economy grows for 2020.

One of the key signals that confirm this fact was the decline in watch exports from Switzerland, which has not been observed since the mid-1980s.

Watch exports from Switzerland in November 2019 decreased by 3.5% in annual terms and amounted to 1.993 billion Swiss francs, according to the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry. As reported, the figure rose by 1.5% in October. Exports of watches decreased by 2.5% to 1.896 billion francs. According to the federation, the figure fell due to the downward trend in exports to Hong Kong against the backdrop of ongoing protests.

Deliveries of Swiss watches in the USA, which is currently the largest market for this production, grew by 4.6% to 242.9 million francs. Sales to Singapore increased by 29.6% to 144.6 million francs, to Japan - by 7.8% to 140.6 million francs. Exports to Hong Kong fell by 26.7%, amounting to 211 million, to China - decreased by 5.5% to 177.4 million francs, to Germany - by 1.9% to 104 million francs. These six countries account for half (51.2%) of the watch market in Switzerland. Overall, watch deliveries to these six countries were down 3.4%.

The volume of Swiss exports as a whole in November decreased by 0.8% compared to October to 18.935 billion francs, imports grew by 0.5% to 16.723 billion, according to customs data. In nominal terms, Swiss exports decreased by 1.7%, imports - by 1.1%.

source: bloomberg.com