Business district in Beijing, China
Jewellery sales in China continued to strengthen in May, breaching pre-coronavirus levels recorded in 2019, signalling the country’s relentless economic recovery.
Data from its National Bureau of Statistics showed that retail sales of gold, silver and jewellery rose 31.5 per cent to RMB 26.2 billion (around US$4.06 billion) in May this year while January to May figures were up 68.4 per cent to RMB 1.28 trillion (around US$198.56 billion).
Sales in this category last year dropped by 3.9 per cent to RMB 20.3 billion (around US$3.15 billion) in May and by 26.8 per cent to RMB 78.5 billion (around US$12.17 billion) from January to May when the Covid-19 outbreak was at its peak in China.
Pre-Covid, China recorded jewellery sales of RMB 22 billion (around US$3.41 billion) in May 2019 and RMB 1.13 trillion (around US$175.31 billion) from January to May.
Business consultancy firms have confirmed China’s important role in the global luxury market’s impending post-coronavirus recovery.
Bain & Co pointed to a strong start to 2021, fuelled by China and the US, particularly Chinese buyers’ insatiable appetite for personal luxury goods including high-end bags, clothes and jewellery.
A separate study by McKinsey & Co likewise underscored China’s contribution to the jewellery sector from now until 2025. Jewellery demand is expected to grow globally by 3 per cent to 4 percent per year, with increased demand from younger consumers and in domestic markets amid continuing restrictions on international travel and the rise of domestic duty-free zones in China.
“Already the biggest regional market, accounting for 45 per cent of global fine jewellery sales and 50 per cent for watches, sales in Asia are set to expand even further, with China leading the way,” noted McKinsey.