Global Meltdown

In a global poll of consumers, 72 percent said they’re cutting back expenses in some way in this economy.

Among emerging markets, only Brazil is not showing a decline in consumer confidence. China’s consumer optimism declined 47 percent from 2007 to 2008. Among established markets, Germany, Holland, and Sweden have shown some resilience in the economic crisis.

–3% Percent change in total online retail sales for holiday 2008.

–24% Percent change in online jewelry and watch sales year-over-year, holiday 2008 vs. 2007.

Amazon.com, however, had its strongest holiday in 14 years and posted an 18 percent increase in revenue, to $6.7 billion, and a 9 percent year-over-year increase in profits. Holiday best sellers on Amazon.com:

Source: ComScore
Diamond earrings (0.50 cts. t.w.) $100
Diamond cupcake pendant $70
Journey pendant $270
Diamond stud earrings (1.00 ct. t.w.) $4,500

Number of women prepared to spend extra for a special piece of jewelry, according to a survey by Global Strategy Group and reported on WWD.com. This represents a decline from 15 percent in 2007. 7%

–12% Polished diamond exports from Israel, 2008 vs. 2007