Switzerland Retail March 2022


Switzerland: Retail sales record largest decline in over one year in March, but underlying momentum is solid

April 29, 2022

Retail sales dived 6.6% year-on-year in calendar-adjusted terms in March, which contrasted February's 12.5% increase. March's outturn marked the worst reading since February 2021. The reading largely reflected a plunge in food, beverages, and tobacco sales. In addition, culture and recreation goods sales lost pace. That said, the March figures were distorted by a very high base of comparison, as in March 2021 retail sales were boosted by the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

The month-on-month data—which was not affected by the extreme base effect—showed stronger dynamics as the impact of the pandemic faded. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, retail sales rose at a faster rate of 0.8% in March (February: +0.1% mom). Meanwhile, the trend pointed down, with the annual average growth of retail sales coming in at 4.1% in March, down from February's 6.6%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to rise 3.6% in 2022, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and to grow 1.9% in 2023.

Author:, Economist

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Switzerland Retail Chart

Switzerland Retail March 2022

Note: Year-on-year changes and annual average variation of retail sales in %.
Source: Swiss Federal Statistics Office (BFS).

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