JCK Forecast

1995 LOOKS GOOD TO JEWELERS After years of economic uncertainty - and buoyed by a hoped-for GOP sweep in the November elections - jewelers once again are unabashedly upbeat. Eight in 10 predict both higher sales and higher profits this year than last. Most of the hundreds of JCK retail jeweler panelists polled in mid-autumn also expect consumer confidence in their markets to keep growing. When it comes to buying, more expensive quality goods with sizable margins rather than less-expensive traffic-pullers top inventory shopping lists for 1995. And panelists will do their heaviest buying in karat gold jewelry, which edges out diamonds, diamond jewelry and colored stone jewelry. Hometown concerns: What a difference 12 months can make! A year ago, many panelists worried that President Clinton's proposals, especially those for health care, might hurt the economy and their own businesses

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