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Financial News: Swiss Consumer Confidence Highest Since July 2014

Swiss Consumer Confidence Highest Since July 2014

02/07/2017 - 02:14:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Switzerland's consumer sentiment improved strongly in the three months to January to its highest level in two-and-a-half years, survey results from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO, showed Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index climbed to -3 from -13 in October, marking its highest level since July 2014, the survey conducted among roughly 1,200 consumers revealed. The reading is above its long-term average, after six below-average quarters.

"Consumers are clearly more optimistic about where they feel the economy is going as well as being less gloomy about the future development of unemployment and their own financial situation," SECO said.

"This is thus the first time that consumers have rated the outlook in many areas as positively as they did shortly before the Swiss franc shock in early 2015."

The prospects for the labor market in particular are now considered average rather than pessimistic for the first time since the Swiss franc shock in early 2015, which is probably partly due to the stable unemployment rate over the last few months, the agency added.

Consumers' expectations of the economic situation in next 12 months strengthened sharply with the corresponding sub-index surging to 14 from -6.

The sub-index for the unemployment expectations also improved, falling to 48 from 58.

Households were also more optimistic regarding their anticipated financial situation and the corresponding sub-index climbed to 0 from -6.

However, their view on saving prospects changed only slightly as the sub-index rose to 21 from 17.

Meanwhile, an above-average number of households felt that now was a good time to make major purchases, with the corresponding index rising to 4 from -2.

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