High Times for the High End

The state of the luxury market in today's global economic climate was spotlighted repeatedly at BaselWorld 2008 by show officials, exhibitors, and speakers, and their conclusion was—it's in good shape, even in the weak U.S. economy. “The sub-prime crisis will last for some time, with implications for our business [and] further complex problems in its wake,” said Jacques J. Duchêne, president of the show exhibitors' committee, at the annual preshow press conference. In America, specifically, “we can expect difficulties.” There already have been slowdowns there in some categories, noted other show and exhibitor group officials. Italian jewelry imports to the United States, for example, declined in 2007, while increasing in all other major markets, and François Thiébaud, president of the Swiss exhibitors committee, expressed concern about erosion in the U.S. market. Leade

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