Total December 2016 sales of fine jewelry and fine watches in the U.S. market rose by an estimated 5.5 percent, when compared to the same month a year ago, to $15.1 billion, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Commerce Department, as the graph below illustrates. This was the third consecutive monthly gain for jewelry sales that has been well above modest gains earlier in the year.

Outlook Optimistic for 2017

The economic outlook for the U.S. market in 2017 appears positive, driven largely by consumer spending as a result of business expansion. Jewelry consumption typically is very strong when the American economy is robust.

Our preliminary jewelry sales forecast for the U.S. market calls for a 4-5 percent sales gain in 2017. With fewer jewelry stores, the typical specialty jewelry merchant should experience sales-per-store growth in excess of five percent.