Switzerland: Retail sales tumble in March
April 30, 2020
Retail sales fell at the sharpest rate in the series’ history in March, with calendar-adjusted real retail sales falling 5.6% on an annual basis (February: +0.3% year-on-year). March’s plunge came as the country was in lockdown to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Retail sales of non-food items, particularly automotive fuel; cultural and recreation goods; furniture; and clothing all plummeted in the month. On the other hand, food, beverages and tobacco sales surged in March.
On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, real retail sales plunged 6.2% in March, down markedly from the 0.3% increase registered in February. Meanwhile, annual average retail sales growth was flat in March, down from 0.4% in February.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist