US consumer confidence positive, despite volatile stock markets, government shutdown, and rising interest rates. Holiday jewelry sales +3.7% and overall retail +5.1%, driven by effective omni-channel strategies, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Online shopping surges 19% as Amazon sees record season. Diamond market quiet, with Belgium and US dealers closed for the holidays. Industry consolidation accelerates as Eurostar enters administration, Alrosa set to acquire Kristall, and Niru Group incorporates EZ Diamonds’ business for goods below 0.70 ct. US Oct. polished imports +28% to $2.3B. The Rapaport Group wishes everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful New Year.