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Swiss Consumer Sentiment Shows Small Improvement in Early 2024

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 15 February 2024

Swiss Consumer confidence sees a slight uplift in early 2024, as Seco switches to monthly reporting to offer fresher insights into economic perceptions.

Swiss Consumer Sentiment Shows Small Improvement in Early 2024

The Swiss Consumer mood has seen a marginal improvement as we step into 2024, according to the latest reports from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco). Although the climb from last fall’s trough is noticeable, the overall sentiment among Swiss consumers remains on the lower side, indicating a cautious outlook toward the economy’s future.

A detailed look at the figures shows that the consumer sentiment index stood at -41 points in the first quarter of 2024 and January, showing a recovery from the October low of -53 points. This marks a subtle shift from January 2023’s -35 points, suggesting a gradual yet steady regaining of consumer confidence.

Swiss Consumer Sentiment Shows Small Improvement in Early 2024
Consumer sentiment recover from recent lows

Breaking down the index further:

  • Future economic development expectations have brightened over the last three months, from -52 points in October to -28 points recently.
  • The retrospective view of the economy has also seen a positive adjustment, with consumers feeling that the economic nadir may have been surpassed.
  • Labor market perceptions have stabilized, indicating no further deterioration in views regarding employment prospects.
Swiss Consumer Sentiment Shows Small Improvement in Early 2024
Consumer sentiment recover from recent lows

Inflation concerns, a significant factor influencing consumer sentiment, have shown signs of abating:

  • Personal financial outlook for the coming months has improved to -40 points from October’s -52 points.
  • Confidence in short-term price trends has increased, although expectations for price movements over the next twelve months have notably softened since October.

Despite these shifts, the overall stance on financial and purchasing decisions remains cautious:

  • The assessment of past financial situations remains unchanged, mainly at -59 points.
  • The willingness to make larger purchases remains reserved, marked at -38 points.

Seco has also announced changes to its reporting methodology. The consumer sentiment index will be updated monthly instead of quarterly, offering more timely insights into the Swiss economic psyche. This transition to continuous online surveys marks a significant shift from the previous telephone survey method during the first three weeks of a quarter.

Swiss Consumer Sentiment Shows Small Improvement in Early 2024
Consumer sentiment recover from recent lows

As Swiss Consumer sentiment shows signs of cautious optimism, these changes in reporting will provide a closer, more immediate look at the evolving economic attitudes in Switzerland, aiding in understanding the complex dynamics shaping consumer behavior.

©Keystone/SDA

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