Jewelry sales rebounded in January, jumping a healthy 6.5% over the same month in 2022, according to Mastercard’s sales tracking service, SpendingPulse.
That number is striking, since last year SpendingPulse said that January jewelry sales grew 19.8% in 2022 over 2021.
This year’s increase represents a change from what SpendingPulse called “nine months of stagnant growth” in the jewelry category.
In December, SpendingPulse said jewelry sales had fallen 5.4% over the holiday.
The improved results potentially reflect early Valentine’s Day spending, it said.
Analyst Paul Zimnisky pinpoints several other possible causes for the improved numbers, including the stock market’s strong performance in January, a Social Security bump for retirees in January, and wage inflation adjustments in the second half of 2022.
Plus, he adds, “employment is still strong. People are not really getting laid off, outside of Silicon Valley and mortgage brokers.”
The growth in the jewelry sector fell slightly behind overall retail activity. SpendingPulse found that U.S. retail sales (excluding automotives) rose 8.8% year over year in January. The gains were evenly distributed through online and offline channels. E-commerce sales rose 8.4%, while in-store sales were up 8.9%, it said.
“Consumer spending remains resilient in the first few weeks of 2023,” said former Saks CEO Steve Sadove, a Mastercard senior adviser, in statement.
Mastercard’s SpendingPulse measures national retail sales by tracking credit card activity as well as survey-based estimates of other forms of payment, like cash or check.
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