Consumer confidence survey results for January influenced by the Swiss franc appreciation
Bern, 05.02.2015 - The results of the consumer survey conducted in January 2015* have been influenced by the decision of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on January 15 to remove the 1.20 floor on the CHF-euro exchange rate. Overall, the consumer sentiment index (average of four questions**) in January 2015 remained virtually unchanged compared to the previous survey (-6 in January 2015 compared to -11 in October 2014).
The number of interviews carried out before and after the SNB’s decision on 15 January is not the same. Therefore, some comments presented in this press release should be interpreted cautiously. More than three quarters of the interviews were carried out until 14th of January and less than one quarter after 15 January; the sample representativeness suffers with the reduction of observations. Based on the interviews carried out until 14 January, the consumer sentiment slightly improved in January (-3). By using only the interviews realized from 15 January onwards (smaller sample of observations), a slight decline can be calculated (-17).
Large differences of the answers between the two supperiods (before and from 15. January onwards) can be observed in particular in the expectations concerning future economic activity and future price development. The assessment of the current period as being more or less conducive to making major purchases was also influenced by the SNB’s decision as were the answers concerning the labour market (job security and expected increase in unemployment), albeit to a lesser extent. Nevertheless, the events of mid-January do not seem to have affected either the perception of the household financial situation or the current or future possibilities for savings.
A series of graphs in an annex to this press release present the various results of the survey, based on interviews realized before and from 15 January onwards, as well as the results of the whole survey for January.
*In January, April, July and October, approximately 1,200 households selected at random are questioned at the request of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) with regard to their personal assessment of the economic situation, their own financial situation, price trends, job security, etc. The survey is conducted by the market research institute DemoScope.
**Assessment of future economic prospects, assessment of future unemployment trends, expected change in the household financial situation, possibility for savings over the next twelve months.
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