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Swiss Consumer Sentiment Still Lukewarm

Bern, 03.11.2016 – The latest survey shows that there was hardly any change in consumer sentiment in Switzerland between July and October 2016*. The index currently stands at -13 points and has consistently come in at a value below its long-term average for over a year now. However, consumers believe that the outlook for the economy over the coming months is considerably better than in July. The assessment of price trends also underwent an upward adjustment.


Consumer Confidence Survey

The consumer sentiment index from October 2016 stands at -13 points, meaning it has seen almost no change since last July (-15 points). This is the sixth time in a row that the survey has revealed a below-average consumer climate among roughly 1,200 randomly selected households (long-term average value: -9 points).

From the four questions included in calculating the consumer sentiment index**,  consumers were far more optimistic in their answers regarding the anticipated economic development over the coming 12 months than in July. The corresponding subindex rose from -19 to -6 points, thus exceeding the long-term average (-10 points) for the first time in one and a half years. The subindex on anticipated unemployment showed hardly any change in comparison to July (there was a slight drop from 61 points in July to 58 points in October).

Consumers do not expect their financial situation or the ability to save money to improve over the next few months. The associated sub-indices have once again decreased slightly since July (expected financial situation: from -2 to -6 points; expected debts/savings: from 20 to 17 points).

Switzerland SECO Consumer Climate Q3/2016

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Switzerland SECO Consumer Climate Q3/2016

Sky blue line: Retropolated Values, Blue line: Consumer Confidence Index, Blue dashed line - mean since April 2007 - Click to enlarge

Additionally, consumers’ expectations regarding price trends stood out. The upward trend continued both in consumers’ assessment of price trends over the past months and their expectations for the coming months. Although the corresponding indices remain below their respective average values, they have nevertheless risen significantly in comparison to July (from 17 to 34 and from 32 to 44 points).

The results of October’s survey show that consumers are perceiving the gradual recovery in the Swiss economy. The observed turnaround in inflation is also visible in consumers’ expectations. Inflation expectations seem to remain well anchored.

*In January, April, July and October, approximately 1,200 randomly selected consumers are questioned at the request of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) with regard to their personal assessment of the economic situation, their own financial situation, price trends, job security, etc. The survey is conducted by the market research institute DemoScope.

**Assessment of the future economic prospects, the future development of unemployment, the anticipated development of the financial situation of domestic households, and the savings possibilities over the next twelve months.

About SECO
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO SECO is the federal government`s centre of excellence for all core issues relating to economic and labour market policy. It is our aim to contribute to sustained economic growth, high employment and fair working conditions, by creating the necessary regulatory, economic and foreign policy framework.
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