Swiss Retail Sales - Economic Data Preview
Switzerland’s Retail Sales are expected to shrink -0.2% in the year to February, the first print in negative territory since November of last year. Sales were supported through the last two months as inflation came to a near-standstill, boosting Swiss consumers’ purchasing power and improving sentiment. Looking ahead however, the underlying fundamental environment is hardly supportive of continued strength. Unemployment has risen to 3.4%, the highest in close to 3 years, and will weigh on disposable incomes as well as prompt precautionary saving. Further, the fallout in price growth will begin to work against spending if deflation expectations become entrenched, encouraging consumers to perpetually put off purchases to wait for the best possible bargain. Consumer prices, the headline inflation gauge, turned negative for the first time in 5 years in March, shrinking at an annual pace of -0.4%.