Switzerland: Consumer sentiment sours in the May–July period
August 5, 2019
Swiss households remained largely pessimistic in the May–July period, with the index prepared by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) improving marginally to minus 8 points from a revised minus 9 points in February–to–April (previously reported: -6 points). Moreover, the consumer sentiment index still stands below its long-run average of minus 5 points and the 0-point threshold separating pessimism from optimism among consumers. It is worth noting, in August, SECO revised its method for calculating the consumer sentiment index in accordance with the EU’s new methodology. Consequently, historical data has been revised.
Consumers’ dreary outlook in the May–July period was primarily due to their downbeat assessment of both their past and future financial situations, and were thus less willing to make larger purchases. On a brighter note, households held a neutral view of the economic outlook, while they remained confident in the labor market, despite expectations of higher unemployment in the near-term.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist