Consumer climate unchanged between January and April, expected price trends revised downwards
Bern, 07.05.2015 - The consumer survey conducted in April 2015* indicates that the consumer climate in Switzerland (average of four indices**) remained unchanged in relation to the situation in January. Nevertheless, the assessment of previous economic trends (over the past twelve months) worsened and expected prices trends were lowered considerably.
The results of the four questions used to calculate the consumer climate index in Switzerland changed only little between January*** and April. Expectations concerning future economic prospects did not change significantly (-12 points in January and -8 points in April). The expected unemployment trends were almost identical (+52 points in January and +51 points in April). Similarly, the assessments concerning future household budget trends did not demonstrate any major variation (+2 points in January and +5 points in April). Finally, the possibility of savings over the next twelve months did not change significantly between January (+38 points) and April (+31 points).
Nevertheless, a number of significant changes can be noted for several sub-indices. The assessment of previous economic trends (past twelve months) was lowered considerably (+1 point in January and -22 points in April). A value of -22 points for this index corresponds to the historic mean. Job safety was deemed less favourable (-54 points in January and -70 points in April). The current period was assessed as being more favourable for making majors purchases (+7 points in January and +15 points in April).
Significant variations were observed in the price assessment. Assessments of the price trends over the past twelve months fell from +32 points in January to -3 points in April. This is the second lowest value ever recorded by this sub-index since 1973; the lowest ever value of -6 points was reached in October 2011. Expectations for future price trends (next twelve months) also fell considerably: the value of the corresponding sub-index fell from +29 points in January to +6 points in April. This is also the second lowest value ever recorded; the lowest level ever reached by this index was recorded in January 2009 (-7 points).
*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.
***More than 75% of the questionnaire in January 2015 were conducted before the 14th of January (abolition of the minimum exchangerate against the Euro on the 15th of Janaury), less than one quarter were asked thereafter.
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