THE LUXURY sector is set to post double-digit growth this year to $260bn (£165.41bn) driven by the appetite of Chinese consumers for top-quality goods, according to a study by Bain & Company released on Monday (October 17).

While “the global economic situation is difficult” the luxury sector “is in good health and is growing above all in Asian markets,” said Santo Versace, head of the Italian fashion house and the Altagamma Foundation of Italian luxury companies that commissioned the study.

The growth forecast was revised up to ten per cent from eight per cent, but still falls short of the 13-per cent growth the sector recorded last year.

Asia remains the driver of growth for the luxury goods sector, with a 25-per cent jump in sales expected.

Sales growth should hit 35 per cent in mainland China this year to $17.8bn (£11.32bn), and Bain & Company said there is “no sign of slow down from the Asian giant.”

Including purchases made abroad, Bain & Company estimated that Chinese customers (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) account for more than 20 per cent of global luxury consumption.

Despite the devastating Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, Japan is expected to eke out two per cent growth, mostly due to the effects of the strong yen.

North America should see eight per cent growth and Europe seven per cent.

Product-wise, watches and jewelry are expected to post the strongest growth of 18 per cent, followed by accessories at 13 per cent. Clothing is expected to see an eight per cent increase and perfumes and cosmetics a three per cent gain.

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