October Swiss Retail Sales Decline Slows To 0.5%

The calendar-adjusted Swiss retail sales data declined 0.5% in the year to October compared with a revised 2.1% decline the previous month, which was originally reported as a decline of 2.3%.

The annual decline was the slowest for seven months and also stronger than market expectations of a 2.0% fall.

In monthly terms, there was a 1.2% increase in sales with a 1.3% increase excluding sales in service stations.

Food and drink sales declined 0.4% with a 2.8% gain in the non-food sector.

In annual terms, the sales decline excluding service stations declined 0.6% with food and drink sales declining 0.4%. The decline in oil prices, which tended to distort annual sales earlier in 2016 has faded and also eased pressure on the annual sales data.

There will inevitably be monthly volatility, but the latest data will offer some encouragement given the growth outside the food sector, especially if the improvement is sustained over the next 2-3 months.

There is still unlikely to be strength in retail sales given the underlying pressure of an over-valued franc will push sales overseas. There was also a subdued reading for the UBS consumption index for October, which suggests underlying caution surrounding the outlook.

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Tim is a contributing author to EconomicCalendar.com. He is an economist and has been involved in financial markets for over 20 years as an analyst. He specialises in global economic trends, macro policy and central banks. Extensive knowledge, experience and data mining is used to anticipate trends in equities, bonds and forex with a contrarian slant. He is a graduate of the University of York with a degree in Economics/Econometrics.