LONDON: Global sales of luxury goods are set to increase rapidly in the next five years, a trend driven by fast-growth economies like China and India, a report from Euromonitor International has predicted.

The research firm forecast that the sector should be worth $302bn worldwide in 2012. Within this, the US is expected to remain as the largest market, generating $77bn in revenues this year.

As such, the country is anticipated to be 2.4 times the size of Japan, in second place on this metric and likely to deliver $32bn in sales in 2012.

In all, the top four markets, made up by Italy and France, should supply almost 50% of industry returns in value terms during 2012.

"The luxury goods industry has once again shown a high degree of insulation from global economic volatility," said Fflur Roberts, Euromonitor International's global head of luxury research.

"Despite many luxury brands being up against a new set of challenges due to a new era of austerity in developed markets, we are, overall, set to witness a positive outlook."

Turning to emerging nations, the BRICs – the name applied to Brazil, Russia, India and China – are in line to deliver 11% of global sales, or around $33bn.

By 2017, the luxury goods sector will expand by $74bn, to $376bn. The BRICs should deliver 16% of this total, as China climbs to become the second largest market for these products worldwide.

India, however, is likely to record the fastest level of growth, growing by 163% in constant value terms between 2012 and 2017, according to Euromonitor.

Data sourced from Euromonitor International; additional content by Warc staff