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Check Out Line: Cautious notes hit by top luxury execs

June 2, 2010

bulgari1Check out the cautious notes being sounded in the global luxury market.

Industry executives voiced concerns about everything from unemployment to Europe’s brewing economic crisis, but are nonetheless banking on growth from China and a recovering U.S. market.

Leading officials speaking at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit said the debt crisis in Europe is threatening to halt luxury’s rebound, but demand for fine merchandise was picking up in the United States while China’s shoppers were venturing frequently into Tokyo for top brands.

“The euro zone is a sizable market, but today the growth reserve is in the emerging countries, and particularly in China, whose demand is pulling the entire sector,” said Isabelle Ardon, head of Paris-based SG Gestion’s luxury fund.

The debt crisis and depreciation of the euro have raised concerns of a double dip global recession that could knock luxury spending back down after a fragile recovery. Bulgari’s CEO Francesco Trapani (pictured) said Europe would remain a difficult market.

Meanwhile, a top industry consultant warned a U.S. rebound remains fragile due to high unemployment and the specter of higher taxes.

“The aspirants will come back when unemployment comes down to 5 percent,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive of the Luxury Institute.

Also in the basket:

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IPad sales likely to boost mall sales

Coach sees permanent pricing change

INTERVIEW-Kimberly-Clark says Huggies demand up

Shoe Carnival Q1 EPS edges past Street; sees tepid Q2

New Look profit up, no plans yet to revive IPO

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(Reuters photo)

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