Online Jewelry Sales Fall in January

Online jewelry sales fell in January 2011, according to the
last numbers from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic report
tracking national retail and services sales.

The drop “reverses a solid December 2010,” the company said.

In addition, the SpendingPulse Luxury Index posted
year-over-year growth of 6.1 percent, its second highest growth rate since May
2010.

Overall, the company said that retail sales continued to
rise in January, though gas prices are emerging as a concern.

“With gasoline prices up about 14 percent over a year ago,
that means less disposable income in consumers’ wallets,” said Michael
McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors
SpendingPulse. “They are more likely to consolidate trips to the mall and shop
closer to home.”

Regarding 2010, the SpendingPulse report makes clear that
retail categories that were up last year outnumbered those that were down by a
ratio of three to one. However, even among the categories that showed gains for
the year, about half have yet to reach their sales figures from 2006 and 2007.