Consumer sentiment among Swiss households is improving, according to Switzerland’s economic affairs office (SECO).
In April 2021, the consumer sentiment index climbed back to -7 points after reaching a low of -40 in early 2020. The level of -7 is close to the pre-crisis level of early 2020 and close to its long term average of -5.
The primary reason for the rise in consumer sentiment is a significant improvement in expectations regarding general economic development. This sub-index climbed from -18 points in January to +3 in April, the highest value recorded since autumn 2018, indicating that consumers are expecting the economic recovery to continue over the coming twelve months.
Increasing likelihood of making major purchases has also helped to raise the consumer sentiment index. However, the relevant sub-index (-13) remains below its pre-crisis level of -8.
Households’ assessment of the labour market is also more positive than in previous quarters, but it remains considerably more negative than before the outbreak of the crisis. The index on expected unemployment (90 points) has improved considerably, but the index for job security has remained at a very low level since last autumn.
In addition, sub-indices on past (-12) and expected (-6) financial position both remain below average suggesting households will remain cautious.