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Regal Imports News for OCTOBER 2021

Welcome to Autumn. At the best of times, Autumn is a time that nurtures mood swings, as long and sunny summer days turn shorter and darker. Many become anxious and irritable as light deprivation disrupts their biological clocks.

Covid and the Delta variant are still dominating the daily news. This September was supposed to launch the end of the pandemic and instead hospitalizations are up and ICUs are over-crowded. Global and Canadian specific issues like a red-hot real estate market, climate concerns and first nations tragedies were all inflated by a national election that did not go as planned. Consumer confidence levels dipped due to concerns about inflation as well as labour and supply chain shortfalls. All these factors and many more left Canadians bogged down in a mire of negativity. Is it any wonder that Canadians are feeling nervous and a bit burned out?

The Regal Imports News has delivered nothing but good news for the past six months. There has been much to celebrate in the diamond world. However, September has slowed the diamond market down and cooled some of the exuberance. IDEX reports that diamond prices dipped slightly last month, however prices are up close to 10% year-on-year. Diamond trading is expected to improve during the fourth-quarter. Deloitte predicts holiday retail sales to rise between 7 and 9 percent.

This early autumn economic malaise carries with it a cautionary warning. Business owners need to stay attentive, not take anything for granted, and just, keep their eyes wide open. I think that it is prudent, in a period of optimism, to step back, just a bit, and acknowledge that although things are comparatively rosy, there is always a need for a degree of caution. September saw a decrease in the stock market. RBC reports that September was the worst month for the S&P 500 since March 2020. Stock investors entered October hoping for a rebound. Instead, the markets are unpredictable.

I have said many times that Covid is not affecting the wealthy as much as the general public. Just as Canada is divided politically, there is a strong divide between those with and without sufficient finances. Those with a higher level of disposable income will spend and jewellers can expect a strong November and December.

There are some, however, who believe that the price of goods and services are going up faster than incomes and that this will ultimately end in a slowdown. In spite of all these factors, those with money are capable of driving the diamond market forward. My only hesitation is if inflation, stock market angst, or Covid complacency challenges the desire for acquiring hard luxury. All things considered, if consumers are not blind-sided by some unexpected occurrence, then all systems are 'go' for diamonds. However, I do think that it is important to point out that there are those who believe that, when the fog settles, we are only "one storm away from the next hurricane".

Mel Moss