Exports of Swiss watches to the UK in May topped CHF 100 million for the first time since November last year.
Total exports of CHF 101.3 million in May is 3% lower than the same month in 2017 (which had an extra working day), and the graph is heading back in a positive direction after disappointing exports to the UK in the first quarter of 2018.
If the trend of the past three months continues, the UK market will notch positive growth in June, although it will be compared to June 2017, when Swiss exports to the UK hit a dizzying CHF 125 million.
The UK has slipped to the seventh largest market for Swiss watch exports in May, with strong performances from Japan and France taking them above the UK into fifth and sixth.
For the first five months of 2018, Swiss exports to the UK have dropped by almost 11% compared to the same period in 2017 and will need another exceptional summer to exceed last year’s export total of CHF 1.29 billion.
Globally, the Swiss watch industry exports continued to grow in May, according to the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry. “Despite an unfavourable base effect and one fewer working day, exports gained 5.3% against May 2017, reaching a value of CHF 1.8 billion. In cumulative terms, growth has slackened slightly since the beginning of the year (+9.9%), while remaining at a very high level,” the Swiss authority says.
Hong Kong reported a very strong rise (+26.0%) and accounted for just under two-thirds of global growth. The United States (+9.8%) maintained good momentum and is now was the second largest market in the world in May. Growth in China (+5.8%) slackened slightly, while remaining at a high level in terms of the year on year variation. The early 2018 recovery in Italy came to an abrupt end in May with a sharp downturn (-21.2%) compared to the same month in 2017.