Swiss Watch Exports Down in 2015

The economic downturn, political decisions in China, and unrest in the Middle East are among the culprits cited by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry for the 3.3 percent fall in exports

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has released its 2015 export report, recording its first downturn since 2009.

Exports are down 3.3 percent since 2014, bringing exports back to the 2012 level.

The numbers deteriorated over the course of the year. The first quarter was up 3.2 percent; the fourth quarter was down 7.3 percent.

The report cited several factors contributing to the downturn, including the overvaluation of the franc, the economic slowdown, political decisions in China, tensions in the Middle East, and terrorism.

“This situation will continue to influence results for the Swiss watch industry in the first part of 2016, which moreover will suffer from a generally unfavorable base effect,” reads the report. “Consequently, watch exports are likely at best to achieve the same value this year as in 2015. Visibility however is poor.”

Hong Kong, the U.S., and China were the top three markets, and each were down in 2015. Hong Kong was down 22.9 percent; the U.S. was down 1 percent; and China was down 5 percent.

Some markets were up, notably the U.K. (up 19.1 percent), Austria (up 15.3 percent), Saudi Arabia (up 11.2 percent), France (up 9.4 percent), and fourth-largest market Italy (up 6.4 percent).

The full report is available here