By  on June 21, 2012

PARIS — Swiss watch exports rose 16.2 percent in May, despite a very unfavorable base effect, confirming the continued strong momentum of the sector following a slight slowdown in growth the previous month.
Foreign sales of Swiss watches totaled 1.9 billion Swiss francs, or $2 billion at average exchange rates for the period, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said today. This made for a cumulated increase of 15.2 percent in the first five months of the year, it added.
The key markets of Hong Kong and China continued to post slower growth, albeit at very high levels, with increases of 27.1 percent and 13 percent, respectively. “This trend is likely to be confirmed in the months ahead, not least because base effects will be particularly unfavorable,” the federation stated.

Sales in the United States were up 10.6 percent, while France again recorded a fall, with sales dropping 3.2 percent. Italy fared better, with a 19.5 percent rise, while Japan posted a 51.8 percent jump, its biggest monthly increase in several years.

The strongest growth was recorded in the highest price segments. Sales of timepieces priced above 3,000 Swiss francs, or $3,200, rose by 28.7 percent in value terms and by 17.9 percent in volume terms.

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