Swiss consumer confidence deteriorated more than expected in the second quarter to the lowest level since 2003 as the sentiment was weighed down by rising concern over job security.
A quarterly survey from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs revealed Tuesday that the consumer sentiment declined to minus 38 points in April quarter from minus 23 reported in the previous quarter. Thus, the reading stood below the expected level of minus 25 and at the lowest level since 2003.
Of the three sub-indices of consumer sentiment, consumers' assessment of household financial situation over the past 12 months fell to minus 11 in April from minus 7 last quarter. The development of the household budget for the coming 12 months was also less favorably evaluated. The index for general economic situation over the last 12 months stood at minus 96, down from minus 64 in January.
Among the other sub-indices of the survey, attitude regarding the timing of major purchases remained stable at minus 2 points. The assessment of their own savings opportunities slipped to 36 points from 40 points in the prior quarter. The index stood below its long-term average of 42 points.
The gauge measuring job security deteriorated considerably to minus 127 from minus 99. This index stayed below its long-term average of minus 53 since October 2008. Further, the expectations of the general economic situation over the coming year dropped to minus 57 from minus 64.
The survey covered around 1,100 households and views of inflation over the past twelve months changed in the second quarter. The index for inflation expectations stood at plus 7 versus minus 7 in January.
In March, consumer prices logged the biggest annual fall since December 1959 amid central bank's efforts to fight deflation risks and prevent further strengthening of the franc. Consumer prices had dropped 0.4% in March.
Earlier in April, Swiss National Bank Vice-Chairman Philipp Hildebrand had said the central bank would continue to take all measures to prevent further strengthening of the Swiss franc and reduce deflationary pressures. It's about avoiding deflation by all means.
Today, in an interview to German daily Handelsblatt, Hildebrand said there should be international rules to liquidate banks. Hildebrand said, This debate must take place without taboos.
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