From the Jewelers Board of Trade

Second-quarter statistics from Jewelers Board of Trade reveal that the only regions experiencing growth in jewelry businesses were the South Central and the Southwest.

In the Southwest, 72.2 percent more new retail businesses launched in the second quarter of 2008 than in the same period in 2007. The gain in retailers was offset by declines in the number of new manufacturing businesses (-100 percent) and new wholesale businesses (-66.7 per-cent), for a net gain of 19.4 percent more jewelry businesses launched in the region this year than last.

Overall, however, 14.4 percent fewer new jewelry businesses (total of manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers) launched in the second quarter of 2008 than in the same period in 2007.

22,830 Number of U.S. jewelry retailers, Q2, 2008

50.4 Consumer Confidence Index in June, down from 58.1 in May

Source: The Conference Board