The global market for luxury goods is expected to return to pre-crisis levels in 2011 on the back of a 10 per cent growth this year, helped by booming Asia and Chinese tourists shopping in Europe, a report said on Monday.
US consultancy Bain & Co said in a study on the outlook for the industry published on Monday it expects sales of luxury goods to rise between 3 and 5 per cent next year, with leather bags, watches and jewels driving recovery.
Global sales should rise to 173-176 billion euros ($246 billion) in 2011, up from 170 billion euros in 2007.
"In the first half of this year we talked about a light at the end of the tunnel," Santo Versace, chairman of Italian luxury goods association Altagamma which contributed to the study, said. "On the basis of the preliminary 2010 figures, we can confirm that positive trend," said Versace, who is also chairman of Italian fashion house Versace.
Global sales of luxury goods are expected to grow 10 per cent to 168 billion euros this year, after falling 8 per cent in 2009, the worst year for the industry in more than two decades, the study said. However, players with global reach, strong brand heritage and efficient retail network have weathered the storm, it added.
LVMH, the world's biggest luxury group beat third-quarter forecasts this month, confirming a strong rebound in the sector.
China remains the fastest-growing luxury market with sales expected to rise 30 per cent this year, while crisis-hit Japan will start to recover only next year.
Sales in Europe, whose luxury brands account for around 75 per cent of the global market, are seen up 6 per cent this year, fuelled by shoppers from emerging markets such as China.
The US, where sales fell 15 per cent in 2009 hit by discounts at department stores, are seen growing sales by 7 per cent higher this year, or 12 per cent at constant foreign exchange rates.
"Global consumption in 2011 should be significantly close to the record levels of 2007," Altagamma's secretary general Armando Branchini said in a statement.
Leather bags, shoes, jewellery and watches are expected to rise more than 8 percent next year, trailed by clothing, perfumes, cosmetics and tablewear.
The luxury yacht industry will continue to fall at double-digit rates this year to an estimated 6.4 billion euros, Bain said.