By  on August 18, 2014

PARIS — Tourists are losing their appetite for European luxury goods.

According to a research note by Barclays based on the latest figures from Global Blue, which tracks tourism consumption patterns, spending in the sector was down 5.7 percent in July, with watches and jewelry declining most, down 9.3 percent.

Fashion and clothing slipped 6.3 percent, while leather goods and bags fell 2.5 percent, buoyed only by improvements in Chinese spending in the category, up 6.7 percent.

The note highlighted that Chinese tourist consumption in general remained weak, up 4.1 percent, which is a significant slowdown compared to the 17.7 percent rise in the first half. The fact that Chinese visitors are buying fewer luxury goods in Hong Kong does not seem to be redirected towards Europe, Barclays noted, citing the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. and Japan as potential beneficiaries.

Spending by Russian tourists, still battered by geopolitical tensions and a devaluation of the ruble, declined less in July, down 5.9 percent versus 13 percent in June.

Barclays calculated that the other nationalities slipped around 11 percent in July versus a flat figure in the previous month, which may reflect an earlier start to the Ramadan season. 

The data comes on the heels of muted sales figures reported by big luxury players in Europe. At French luxury group Kering, which includes Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, second-quarter sales rose 1.8 percent, dented by sluggish demand in China and Russia along with continuing currency headwinds.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, home to Givenchy, Tag Heuer and Bulgari among others, reported that its second-quarter revenues rose 1.3 percent.

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