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奢侈品行业将回暖
Buoyant growth returns across the world, lifting luxury industry

2017-5-19 06:32| 发布者: 岁月如歌| 查看: 127| 评论: 0

摘要: The global economy is enjoying an upswing. It is not yet clear whether it is more than cyclical. But an upswing it is. Moreover, it is not just an upswing in one part of the world economy. It is a syn ...
The global economy is enjoying an upswing. It is not yet clear whether it is more than cyclical. But an upswing it is. Moreover, it is not just an upswing in one part of the world economy. It is a synchronised global upswing. So what might this mean for the business of luxury?

In 2016, the global economy (measured at purchasing power parity) grew by 3.1 per cent. In its most recent World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund forecast global economic growth at 3.5 per cent this year and 3.6 per cent in 2018.

IMF forecasts have hardly changed since last October (up by just 0.1 percentage point for this year and no change for 2018) or since the January update. But that is the point. The IMF thought the world economy would strengthen — and, so far as one can see, it has.

In the high-income economies, growth is forecast to hit 2 per cent this year and next, with the US economy growing a little faster (at 2.3 per cent in 2017 and 2.5 per cent in 2018) and the eurozone a little slower (at 1.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively).

All leading high-income economies are forecast to grow reasonably, with Spain in the lead (2.6 per cent this year) and Italy in the rear (just 0.8 per cent).

The improvement is also noteworthy in emerging and developing economies. After growth of 4.1 per cent last year, these are forecast to expand by 4.5 per cent this year and 4.8 per cent in 2018. Strikingly, all regions and important economies are now growing. Even Brazil’s battered economy is forecast to expand by 0.2 per cent this year, after contracting by 3.6 per cent in 2016, and Russia’s is forecast to grow by 1.4 per cent, after shrinking by 0.2 per cent last year.

Yet the leaders remain Asian emerging and developing countries, forecast to grow by 6.4 per cent this year and next. India is to be the world’s fastest growing large economy, with growth forecast at 7.2 per cent this year (up from 6.8 per cent in 2016) and 7.7 per cent in 2018. China is forecast to decelerate very slowly, to 6.6 per cent this year (down fractionally from 6.7 per cent in 2016) and 6.2 per cent next.

These improving prospects are subject to serious risks, most obviously geopolitical ones. The rise of populism may yet transform the world economy, particularly if the Trump administration ends up (as now seems less likely than a few months ago) with a significantly protectionist agenda. There are significant risks of military conflict between great powers. China’s growth is also dependent on rapidly rising debt, which is unlikely to prove sustainable in the long run.

Assume, however, that such dangers remain unrealised. Assume, therefore, that the expected upswing occurs. That should also be good for the luxury business. But some economies matter far more to these businesses than others.

Thus, according to estimates from consultancy Bain, residents of high-income economies accounted for just over half of the global market for luxury in 2016: 23 per cent were Americans, 19 per cent Europeans and 11 per cent Japanese. Meanwhile, the Chinese accounted for as much as 30 per cent and other Asian citizens were a further 10 per cent.

An important twist is that 75 per cent of purchases occurred inside high-income countries: 33 per cent in the Americas, 33 per cent in Europe, and 9 per cent in Japan. While the Chinese made almost a third of luxury purchases, only 7 per cent of luxury sales were inside China — but this balance might now change.

While buying luxury products is part of Chinese tourists’ experience, fears of terrorism have kept them from traditional centres such as Paris, and import duties on luxury goods have been raised. Consequently, more Chinese are buying at home: luxury conglomerate Richemont reported Asia-Pacific sales were up 10 per cent in the final quarter of 2016, citing “strong performances” in mainland China and Korea.

In all, the near-term prospects for the world economy seem to be good. So are those for the luxury business, with the recovery in the high-income economies, the dominant source of purchases. The two-year slowdown in the watch industry, for example, seems to be coming to a halt. Another transformative event, on the scale of the rise of the Chinese as purchasers, is not in the offing. Yet, barring a disaster, the overall market should remain reasonably buoyant.

Martin Wolf is the FT’s chief economics commentator. The Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit takes place in Lisbon May 14-16 2017

全球经济如今正处于上升通道,但是否属于周期性转暖仍不得而知。但是,全球经济正逐渐回升,并非部分地区向好,而是全世界同步增长。因此,此举对于奢侈品行业意味几何?

2016年,以购买力平价计算的全球经济增长率为3.1%。在国际货币基金组织(International Monetary Fund, IMF)最新发布的《世界经济展望报告》(World Economic Outlook)中,其预测今明两年的全球经济增长率分别定为3.5%与3.6%。

自去年10月及今年元月以来,国际货币基金组织对经济增速的预测几乎没啥变动(对今年的预测仅相差0.1%,而对2018年的预测则未做任何改动)。但这正是问题关键所在。国际货币基金组织认为全球经济会不断转好——至少到目前为止也是如此。

在发达国家,今年的经济增速预计为2%,明年美国经济发展增速会稍快些(2017、2018年分别为2.3%与2.5%),欧元区国家经济增速则会稍慢些(2017、2018年分别为1.7%与1.8%)。

IMF预测主要高收入经济体今年均有不错的增速——以西班牙最高(2.6%),意大利最低(只有0.8%)。

新兴经济体与发展中国家今明两年的经济发展同样不俗。在去年实现4.1%的增长率后,IMF预测其今明两年的增速分别为4.5%与4.8%。尤为引人瞩目的是:所有地区与重要经济体实现了普涨——甚至2016年经济遭受重创的巴西(GDP下降3.6%)今年预计也有0.2%的增长;俄罗斯去年GDP下降0.2%后,今年预计也将有1.4%的增长。

然而,亚洲的新兴经济体与发展中国家仍是全球经济发展的“引擎”:今明两年预计增速为6.4%。印度有望成为经济发展速度最快的大国,今明两年预计分别将实现7.2%与7.7%的增速(2016年的发展速度是6.8%)。中国经济发展增速将放缓:今明两年预计分别为6.6%(略低于2016年的6.7%)与6.2%。

但美好的经济发展前景却受制于全球的高风险事件,尤以地缘政治事件为甚。民粹主义的兴起或许会彻底改变全球经济格局,特朗普政府(Trump administration)最终若实行保护主义政策(相比几个月前,如今实行的概率似乎大减)的话概率会大增。大国间爆发军事冲突的风险剧增。中国经济增长同样依赖于大幅举债,而此举从长远来看难以为继。

但是,设想上述所有危险都“烟消云散”,所有经济发展预期都“梦想成真”,那么它对于奢侈品行业将是巨大的福音,但有些国家对奢侈品行业的贡献更是举足轻重。

据贝恩咨询公司(Bain)估计:高收入国家消费者只贡献了2016年奢侈品销售额的一半多:其中美国、欧洲与日本的贡献额分别为23%、19%与11%。与此同时,中国消费者则贡献了30%的份额,其它亚洲国家的消费者则贡献了10%。

但重要的转折点是75%的消费行为发生在发达国家:美欧日分别为33%、33%与9%。尽管中国消费者购买了全球近三分之一的奢侈品,但只有7%的奢侈品在中国国内购买——但这一切如今或许会发生改变。

虽说购买奢侈品是中国游客出境游的“保留节目”,但对恐袭的担忧让其对巴黎这样的传统购买天堂“望而却步”,而且中国政府还提高了奢侈品的进口关税。因此,更多中国消费者转而在国内购买奢侈品:奢侈品巨擎历峰集团(Richemont)发布的报告称2016年第四季度亚太区的销售额增长了10%,并称中国大陆与韩国的销售“异常强劲”。

总之,全球经济短期前景似乎向好;而随着消费主力军发达国家经济恢复元气,奢侈品行业同样迎来春天。比如说,腕表业为期两年的不景气似乎“戛然而止”了。另一划时代的事件是:中国奢侈品消费人群大幅增多指日可待。然而,除非灾难性事件降临,否则全球奢侈品市场仍将保持强劲的发展势头。

(马丁?沃尔夫是《金融时报》首席经济评论员,《金融时报》国际顶级时尚品牌行业高峰会(FT Business of Luxury Summit)于2017年5月14-16日在伦敦举办。)

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