U.S. Jewelry Sales Rose 4.9% in Q1 2016, Prices Up in April

Finance and Trade
19/05/2016 12:01

Based on preliminary data from the US Department of Commerce, IDEX reports that total sales of fine jewelry and watches in the US market rose by a solid 4.2% in March when compared to March 2015, leading to a 4.9% overall increase US sales of fine jewelry during the first quarter of 2016, rising to $16.8 billion compared to $16 billion a year ago. However, preliminary March sales for specialty jewelers only gained 3%. After downward revisions of previously positive results from specialty jewelers in January and February, first quarter specialty jewelers’ sales gained only 1.4% for the first quarter of 2016 versus the first quarter of 2015. "Clearly, specialty jewelers, who generate just over 40 percent of total US jewelry sales are struggling", concludes IDEX. Meanwhile, Rapaport notes that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) for jewelry rose 1.5% in April from the previous month as prices returned to an upward trend that was briefly interrupted in March. Prices have now advanced in each month since December with the exception of March, when the index fell 3.1 percent. The April CPI figure is a 5% jump from a year ago.