Swiss watch export collapse slows

25th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry says that sales in the US and Hong Kong increased in July.

Biel -- The collapse of Swiss watch exports slowed in July, figures from an industry body showed Thursday, as sales in the major markets of the United States and Hong Kong picked up.

The country's watch exports fell 25.9 percent in July compared to June due to the economic downturn, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said.

But this still marked an improvement from the monthly figure for June which showed a fall of 31.9 percent, the data showed.

Exports brought in CHF 1.2 billion (EUR 790 million, USD 1.1 billion) in July, the watchmakers' group said.

Sales to the United States, the second biggest importer of Swiss watches, dropped 39.2 percent in July, an improvement from June when they fell 49.2 percent month-on-month.

In Hong Kong, the sector's biggest market, exports fell 31.7 percent in July, an improvement on a month-on-month drop of 35.9 percent in June.

Exports of gold watches dropped sharply in July, falling 31.3 percent, while steel watch exports fell 26 percent, the figures showed.

Watches costing between CHF 200 and 500 did best in July, with exports falling just seven percent.

Watch exports in other prices categories fell by 20 percent, the industry group said.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said in June that Swiss watch exports fell by 24.6 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

AFP / Expatica

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