Antwerp, Belgium — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 January 2009 – The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) – an industry body representing 28 affiliated diamond bourses worldwide – says initial reports from major markets indicate that consumer spending during the 2009 holiday season has fallen at some of the steepest rates seen over the past four decades.
In a statement released here, WFDB President Avi Paz said that the fall in consumer spending had been inevitable, given the general mood of uncertainty that had prevailed since the onset of the global financial crisis at the start of the fourth quarter of 2008. “Consumers are shell-shocked at present, and as such they instinctively cut back on spending,” he explained.
But Paz was confident that the fundamentals of the diamond business were sound, arming the industry to make its way through the current downturn and emerge healthy, as it has done in the past. “Research conducted after the onset of the financial crisis demonstrates that not only do diamonds retain their appeal, but they lead the luxury product category by a large margin," he said
To illustrate the resilience of the diamond market, Paz pointed out that the industry had witnessed severe drops in consumer spending during the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, and in the general downturn following the September 11 attacks in the United States.
“While these drops in spending even reached double digits, the diamond sales had recovered, quickly,” he said.
“These clearly are challenging times, but we should not lose perspective of the versatility and resourcefulness inherent in the diamond and in our business model,” Paz emphasised. “We must be steadfast and act responsibly, continuing to look for and identify new opportunities in our market," he concluded.