Consumer sentiment remains below average
Bern, 03.05.2016 - Consumer sentiment has remained below the long-term average for several quarters. The latest survey in April 2016* shows hardly any major changes; only expectations over price trends have risen slightly.
The Swiss consumer sentiment index changed little between January and April 2016 (from -14 to -15 points), continuing to remain below the long-term average of -9 points. The four sub-indices used to calculate the consumer sentiment index** also saw only minimal changes. Future economic prospects are still expected to be fairly gloomy. At -17 points, the corresponding index remains below the multi-year average of -10 points. The trend in unemployment figures still paints a rather bleak picture (index value of +70 points, with the historical average at +50 points). By contrast, the sub-index for the anticipated financial situation is close to the average and savings possibilities over the next twelve months are even rated above-average (index value of +27 points, with a long-term average of 21 points).
The only significant change in the survey results can be seen in the views on past and future price trends. Following a decline in January, they mounted a recovery in April. The sub-index that measures price trends in the past twelve months increased from -4 points in January to +7 points in April, while the sub-index for expected price trends climbed from +16 to +22 points. However, over the long term, both indices remain low.
* In January, April, July and October, approximately 1,200 households randomly selected 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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