Swiss Retail trade turnover soared in May 2020 after easing of COVID-19 measures

Turnover adjusted for sales days and holidays rose in the retail sector by 5.6 % in nominal terms in May 2020 compared with the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, nominal turnover rose by 30.2 % compared with the previous month. These are provisional findings from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

Real turnover adjusted for sales days and holidays rose in the retail sector by 6.6 % in May 2020 compared with the previous year. Real growth takes inflation into consideration. Compared with the previous month, real, seasonally adjusted retail trade turnover registered an increase of 30.7 %.

Change in the sectors

Adjusted for sales days and holidays, the retail sector excluding service stations showed an 8.2 % increase in nominal turnover in May 2020 compared with May 2019 (in real terms +8.9 %). Retail sales of food, drinks and tobacco registered an increase in nominal turnover of 20.8 % (in real terms +20.1 %), whereas the non-food sector registered a nominal negative of 3.2 % (in real terms –1.7 %). Sectors that have been negatively affected by the crisis reported varying growth patterns: While “other household equipment, textiles, DIY and furniture” saw gains (+16.5 %; in real terms +18.4 %), in the sector “other goods (clothing, chemists, watches and jewellery)” (–20.8 %; in real terms –20.2 %) turnover fell again although less than in April. Sustained and increased turnover growth were recorded by the sectors “market stalls, retail sale via mail order houses or via internet” (+29.4 %; in real terms +30.0 %) and “information and communication equipment” (+31.3 %; in real terms +42.5 %).

Excluding service stations, the retail sector showed a seasonally adjusted increase in nominal turnover of 32.1 % compared with the previous month (in real terms +32.2 %). Retail sales of food, drinks and tobacco registered a plus of 13.3 % (in real terms +13.7 %). The non-food sector showed a plus of 61.2 % (in real terms +61.4 %).

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