Swiss Consumer sentiment deteriorates slightly

Figures for January show that the sentiment remains gloomy among Swiss households. Their expectations have taken a particular downturn when compared to October. All sub-indices are still well below their long-term average.

As of January 2021, the consumer sentiment index stands at –15 points, remaining far below its long-term average (−5 points). Sentiment has worsened slightly in comparison with October’s survey (–13 points).

Expectations regarding general economic development, in particular, were decidedly more pessimistic than in October’s survey. The relevant sub-index has fallen to –19 points, which contrasts with the slight recovery it enjoyed in October (–14 points). This is in line with consumers’ enduring negative assessment of the labour market; having already reached an extraordinarily high level, the index on the expected development of unemployment has once again risen slightly (115 points), while the respondents’ assessment of job security remains at a similar negative level to the previous survey (–123 points). Overall, these results point to weak economic development in the near future.

The budget situation of those surveyed also remains troubled. While the index on the financial situation in the last twelve months has increased somewhat (–12 points), the surveyed households’ expectations regarding their own financial situation has once again decreased slightly (–7 points). It should therefore be unsurprising that the likelihood of consumers making major purchases also remains below average, with the relevant sub-index standing at –20 points. A weak level of development in private consumption is to be expected as a result.