Swiss watch exports fell in November, led by a 28 percent decline in shipments to Hong Kong, the industry’s largest market.
Export shipments slid 5.6 percent to 1.95 billion Swiss francs ($1.96 billion), according to figures released Tuesday by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. That compares with a 14 percent drop of exports the year-earlier period and it’s the first time the value of November shipments fell below 2 billion francs in four years, the group said. Exports to the U.S. fell 5.3 percent.
The Swiss watch industry is facing the first annual decline in the value of exports since 2009. Growth has ebbed due to the slowdown in China’s economy and the aftermath of the 2012 crackdown on extravagant spending among government officials which has hurt demand in Hong Kong. Timepiece shipments will increase 2 percent next year, according to the median estimate of 11 analysts.