Consumer climate unchanged between July and October
Bern, 05.11.2015 - The last survey revealed that the consumer climate in Switzerland remained virtually unchanged between July and October 2015 and is still well below its historic average*. While a slight improvement in economic development is expected, household anticipations concerning future unemployment and job security have deteriorated. Expected price trends were revised slightly upwards.
The answers collected in October 2015 to the four questions used to calculate the consumer sentiment index** indicate a near-stagnation of the situation in relation to July. Having risen from -19 points in July to -18 points in October, the index remains very low compared to historic levels. The multiyear (longterm) average of the index is -9 points.
However, the sub-indices evolved differently. The sub-index reflecting household expectations with regard to future economic prospects improved from -25 points in July to -16 points in Oc-tober. The sub-index relating to the development of unemployment increased from 65 points (July) to 74 points (October), which corresponds to a deterioration of labour market expecta-tions. The anticipated development of the financial situation of domestic households remained unchanged between July and October while savings possibilities over the next twelve months did not change significantly.
The assessment of the development of the economy over the past twelve months improved slightly in October (-30 points) compared to July (-36 points). The sub-index of the survey relating to job security nevertheless continued its downward trend, which began at the beginning of 2015, to reach -85 points in October compared to a value of -76 recorded in July. This is the first time that this sub-index has fallen below the level recorded in January 2012 as the debt crisis in the euro zone worsened. Furthermore, domestic households believe that their financial situation remained almost unchanged between July (-12 points) and October (-10 points); they also declared that the climate was less favourable for making major purchases (-5 points in the October survey compared to +6 points in July).
With regard to prices, the households interviewed revised their assessment of price trends over the past twelve months upwards, with the relevant sub-index increasing from -5 points in July to +11 points in October. Similarly, expectations concerning future inflation (price trends over the next twelve months) increased from +18 points in July to +36 points in October. Despite the recent progress, both sub-indices reflecting price assessments (past and future) remain well below their historic averages.
*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 the future economic prospects, the future development of unemployment, the anticipated development of the financial situation of domestic households, the savings possibilities over the next twelve months.
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