The Swiss watch industry started the year where it left off as exports fell in January, albeit at a slower pace than in 2016.
Outbound shipments of Swiss timepieces fell 6.2 percent year on year to $1.42 billion (CHF 1.43 billion), according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. Those numbers continued the calmer trend that marked November and December, when exports went from a sharp drop throughout the year to a more gradual slide.
In 2016 as a whole, exports fell 10 percent due to lower demand from Hong Kong.
“The negative trend has flattened out somewhat in the past three months but remains significantly in the red,” the federation said this week, adding that “the situation also began to ease in Hong Kong, where January reported a moderate fall after a negative spiral lasting for two years.”
Exports to Hong Kong, Switzerland’s largest trade partner for watches, slipped 3.9 percent to $197.3 million (CHF 199.7 million) in January – a comparatively mild drop after a 25-percent overall slide for 2016.