Switzerland: Retail sales record largest contraction in one year in April
Retail sales declined 3.7% year on year in calendar-adjusted terms in April, which followed March’s 1.9% decrease. April’s outturn marked the worst reading since April 2022. April’s reading was largely due to a bigger fall in food, beverages, and tobacco sales. In addition, household equipment sales fell notably.
On a monthly basis, retail sales declined 2.0% in seasonally adjusted terms in April, which was greater than March’s 0.3% fall and marking the worst result since July 2021. Meanwhile, the trend improved slightly, with the annual average variation of retail sales coming in at minus 1.0% in April, up from March’s minus 1.2% reading.
While the retail data paints a downbeat picture of consumer spending at the outset of Q2, the fall was likely driven at least partly by a greater preference for spending on services over goods.