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Swiss consumers ready to spend

Swiss shoppers are in a good mood Keystone

Confidence among Swiss consumers in January was the highest for six years, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco).

This content was published on February 8, 2007 - 15:55

It said the traditional dip in spending did not materialise and the Swiss continued to be optimistic about their financial situation.

Seco announced on Thursday that the quarterly consumer sentiment index rose to +17 points for the first three months of 2007, up from +13 points in the final quarter of 2006.

The index had previously reached a high of +25 points at the beginning of 2001, said Bruno Parnisari, head of economic affairs at Seco.

He said 2001 was a boom year whose levels the current figures had not quite reached, adding that all economic indicators had contributed to the continued improvement in consumer confidence.

"The consumer sentiment index was significantly better than during the previous year," Parnisari said.

The index also rose regarding the future development of the household budget, which consumers also viewed rosily.

The assessment of the general state of the economy, which had considerably supported the positive development of the barometer over recent months, remained at a high level and had slightly risen.

Another factor that had contributed to the good public mood was employment. "We know that consumer confidence is closely tied to the development of the job market," added Parnisari.

Optimism

Consumers also consistently replied more positively to Seco questions that were not incorporated in the index.

Respondents reckoned prices had risen less over the past 12 months than previously. Even more positive was the outlook regarding prices.

Parnisari said it was difficult to explain this confidence, but believed energy prices could play a roll.

Another outlook that had improved equally noticeably concerned the economic development for the coming year.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

The consumer sentiment index is compiled quarterly by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco).

Since 1972, Seco has surveyed 1,100 households on various issues, including price developments and job security.

They are also asked to give their opinion on the general state of the economy over the previous 12 months, their own financial situation during the same period and how they think it will develop over the coming year.

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