Consumer sentiment has worsened slightly. Consumers have proved less optimistic about both general economic development and the labour market than in previous quarters.
In November 2019, the consumer sentiment index* stands at −10 points and is therefore below its long-term average (−5 points). Sentiment has worsened slightly in comparison with July’s survey (–8 points).
Expectations regarding general economic development have deteriorated significantly. The relevant sub-index (−20 points) has dropped below its long-term average (−9 points) for the first time in more than three years. According to the assessment of the respondents, the outlook for the labour market has clouded over, too. The index on anticipated unemployment (48 points) is close to its long-term average and has thus reached its highest level for over two years; however, job security is still assessed as above average. Overall, these results point to weak economic development in the near future.
By contrast, households’ budget situation has tended to ease slightly, although its level remains below average. In particular, the assessment of the financial situation in the last few months (–11 points; average: –6 points) has continued its positive development of recent quarters. Expectations regarding the financial situation in the next few months (–3 points; average: +2 points) have at least left the low point of mid-2019 behind them. In line with these figures, the likelihood of making major purchases has largely remained stable (–8 points; average: –6 points). Based on the current survey results, moderate growth in private consumer expenditure is to be expected, as in previous quarters.
* Since July 2019, the consumer sentiment index has been calculated using the following four seasonally and calendar-adjusted sub-indices: expected economic development, past financial situation, expected financial situation and moment to make major purchases. For further information visit: www.seco.admin.ch/consumer-confidence