Switzerland: Consumer sentiment improves slightly in the November-January period, despite households' shift to a pessimistic view of the economic situation
February 1, 2019
Consumer sentiment among Swiss households improved in the November–January period, with the index prepared by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) rising to minus 4 points from minus 6 points in August-to-October. As a result, the consumer sentiment index now stands slightly above its long-run average of minus 9 points but remains below the 0-point threshold separating pessimism from optimism among consumers.
The improvement in November-to-January came primarily on the back of higher confidence in consumers’ ability to save, while households were also less pessimistic about their financial position, likely aided by the recent decline in inflation. On the other hand, consumers’ assessment of the overall economic situation deteriorated notably into pessimistic territory, and their perspective of the outlook for the Swiss economy also worsened, signaling consumers are warier of an economic slowdown. Meanwhile, they remained optimistic about the labor market and job security, but less so than in the previous period.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist