Oct 17, 2011
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Luxury goods sales set for 10% growth: study

Oct 17, 2011

MILAN, Oct 17, 2011 (AFP) - The luxury sector is set to post double-digit growth this year to 191 billion euros driven by the appetite of Chinese consumers for top-quality goods, according to a study by Bain & Company released on Monday.

CHINA, HONG KONG : A woman poses for a photo on a street before a Tiffany shop following National Day celebrations in Hong Kong on October 1, 2011. China, together with Hong Kong and Macau, was celebrating its 62nd anniversary. AFP PHOTO / ED JONES

While "the global economic situation is difficult" the luxury sector "is in good health and is growing above all in Asian markets," said Santo Versace, head of the Italian fashion house and the Altagamma Foundation of Italian luxury companies that commissioned the study.

The growth forecast was revised up to 10.0 percent from 8.0 percent, but still falls short of the 13-percent growth the sector recorded last year.

Asia remains the driver of growth for the luxury goods sector, with a 25-percent jump in sales expected.

Sales growth should hit 35 percent in mainland China this year to 13 billion euros ($17.8 billion), and Bain & Company said there is "no sign of slow down from the Asian giant."

Including purchases made abroad, Bain & Company estimated that Chinese customers (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) account for more than 20 percent of global luxury consumption.

Despite the devastating Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, Japan is expected to eke out two percent growth, mostly due to the effects of the strong yen.

North America should see eight percent growth and Europe seven percent.

Product-wise, watches and jewelry are expected to post the strongest growth of 18 percent, followed by accessories at 13 percent. Clothing is expected to see an eight percent increase and perfumes and cosmetics a three percent gain.

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