Swiss consumer sentiment deteriorated sharply in the first quarter as households turned far more pessimistic about future general economic situation, survey data from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO, showed on Monday.
The consumer sentiment index fell to -27.4 in the second quarter from -3.8 in the first quarter. The index logged its biggest decline since the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.
The survey showed that households are particularly pessimistic about how the economic situation will develop over the next twelve months. The corresponding index came in at -31.4, down from +21.0 in the preceding period.
The sub-index on how people expect their financial situation to change over the next 12 months fell to -24.9 from -3.2, and the past financial situation dropped to -21.9 from -9.6 points.
Combined with heightened uncertainty in connection with the war in Ukraine, is likely to be a major driver in consumers’ current reluctance to make major purchases, the SECO said. The corresponding sub-index dropped further to ?31.3 points.
Despite the overall negative outlook, consumers’ expectations for the labor market situation remain better than average. Households’ assessment about the past and expected price developments increased sharply from the previous survey.