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Retail sales edge up despite economic slowdown

Swiss consumer sentiment remains positive

(Keystone Archive)

Swiss retail sales rose slightly in May despite the global economic slowdown. Sales were up 0.4 per cent over the same period last year; in April, sales had decreased 1.1 per cent over the same period in 2000.

The Federal Statistics Office said sales of shoes, textiles and clothing grew by 3.1 per cent, ending a series of very weak months. Sales of food, drink and tobacco products grew by a more modest 0.7 per cent.

"The May figures are favourable, particularly in view of the fact that there was one less shopping day during the month," said Julius Bär economist Jan-Willem Ackert.

He added that private consumption should act as a stabilising factor for the economy as consumer sentiment remains buoyant amid low unemployment and rising income.

Most economists expect the Swiss economy to grow by around 2 per cent this year.

Wednesday's data helped the Swiss franc rise to a two-month high against the US dollar.

Swissinfo with agencies

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