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Global luxury market set for slower growth

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The global luxury market will grow by a relatively modest 4-5 percent in turnover this year compared to the 10 percent expansion seen in 2012, a study released on Thursday by research consultancies Bain & Company and Fondazione Altagamma showed.

"We are seeing a more even distribution of global growth," said Claudia D'Arpizio, a Bain partner in Milan and lead author of the study.

"In turn, brands are refocusing from short term, reactive hot spot thinking to long-term sustained growth strategies," she said.

Turnover reached 212 billion euros ($273 billion) in 2012.

The study found that wealthy tourists were seeking out new destinations like Dubai, South East Asia and Australia, with a particularly marked drop in the numbers of Japanese visitors to Europe.

It also said the growth in luxury watch purchases were down in the booming Chinese market and sales in cosmetics had fallen off in mature markets.

While growth in the Chinese luxury market would stabilise at seven percent this year, the study found, it would explode by 20 percent in South East Asia -- driven by new store openings.

"Europe remains a challenge for the industry," the two research consultancies said in a statement.

"As tourism slows, as tourists spend less per visit and as Europeans, especially in southern Europe, curtail spending, Bain expects flat-to-two percent growth" in 2013, it said.

It also forecast a five-percent rise for the Middle East and a seven-percent increase for the United States, while Latin America would grow by 12 percent.

Andrea Illy, head of the Fondazione Altagamma, said the luxury market had a crucial importance for the Italian economy, accounting for 24 percent of exports and 2.0 percent of gross domestic product GDP.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130516/global-luxury-market-set-slower-growth