PARIS — Swiss watch exports rose 15.5 percent in January, helped by strong demand from the United States, which rebounded after a minor slowdown at the end of 2011.
Foreign sales of Swiss timepieces totaled 1.3 billion Swiss francs, or $1.42 billion at average exchange rates for the period, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said.
Sales in the U.S. jumped 36.7 percent in the month, while Hong Kong rose 33.2 percent and China gained 32.2 percent. Singapore posted a decline of 19.8 percent, but the figure was an isolated variation reflecting an unfavorable base effect and an exceptionally strong month of December, the FHS said.
France recorded a 12.1 percent drop, the largest in two years, confirming recent evidence of a slowdown on this market. Japan, with a 28.5 percent rise, was among the top six markets in January.
Bimetallic watches saw the biggest increase, up 31.7 percent on the month, while steel and gold timepieces registered rises of 11.1 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively.