Switzerland: Retail sales decelerate sharply in February
April 2, 2012
In February, retail sales added 0.8% over the same month last year, which represented a notable deceleration compared to the 4.7% expansion recorded in January and was well below market expectations that had retail sales growth slowing to only 2.0%. The February print showed a deceleration in sales of food, beverages and tobacco. In addition, sales of non-food items deteriorated. On a month-on-month comparison, retail sales contracted a seasonally adjusted 1.3% in February, which contrasted the 1.5% expansion observed in January. As a result of the disappointing February reading, the trend deteriorated, with annual average growth in retails sales inching down from 1.9% in January to 1.8% in February. The Central Bank projects economic growth to slow to 0.5% this year.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist