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US watch and jewellery sales decline

US watch and jewellery sales fell yet again during April, by 7.1 per cent according to figures released by the US Department of Commerce. That's an improvement on the 8.8 per cent drop in March, but only a slight one.

Year-on-year sales showed modest growth from May 2022, but dipped below zero in October 2022, where they have remained ever since (with the exception of an 0.8 per cent rise in January).

US inflation has been slowing recently. It was 4.9 per cent in April, but the cumulative effect of many months of price rises (peaking at over nine per cent last June) has clearly hit many consumers.

The Federal Reserve has been hiking interest rates month in, month out, and most economists say a recession is now inevitable.

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