Swiss Consumers do not foresee job losses
Consumer sentiment in Switzerland remains slightly above average. Despite less favourable predictions regarding the economy in general, the outlook for the labour market and consumers’ own budget has improved.
The survey undertaken in January 2019 indicates a positive sentiment among Swiss consumers since, at -4 points, the consumer sentiment index* remains above its long-term aver-age (-9 points). In comparison with last October (-6 points), the sentiment has remained stable overall, with signs of a recovery and of a slowdown broadly balanced.
Consumers are feeling confident about the labour market, with the sub-index on anticipated unemployment falling significantly to 32 points, which is well below the average (48 points). In addition, consumers’ assessment of job security has come in above average. The assessment of the households’ own budget situation has also improved, as the sub-index on anticipated likelihood to save (21 points) has soared to reach the long-term average (20 points) again and consumers’ expectations regarding their own financial situation (-1 point) have approached the average level (2 points). Both the encouraging labour market prospects and the recent decline in inflation likely have contributed to the brightening budget situation.
However, the assessment of the economy in general has deteriorated. Consumers feel that the economy has developed significantly worse over the past twelve months – mirroring the sharp decline in gross domestic product growth. Predictions regarding future economic growth have deteriorated even further, meaning that consumers expect the slowdown to continue. This is hardly surprising given the negative reports on the international economy and numerous economic risks. Nevertheless, at -5 points, the sub-index on anticipated economic development is still slightly above its long-term average (-9 points). Consumers are therefore predicting a weaker general economic situation but not a recession.
*The four sub-indices used to calculate the consumer sentiment index are anticipations on economic development, unemployment, consumers’ financial situation and their likelihood to save.