The Swiss consumer confidence index for the first quarter of 2019 jumped six points to 105 from the previous quarter. Across Europe, this puts Switzerland in sixth place, but well above the European average confidence level of 83, which is down one point from fourth-quarter 2018. Which countries have more optimistic consumers? The Danes (119 points), the Dutch (108 points), the Czechs (107.5 points), and the Austrians (107 points).
This is the result of The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey, which is produced in collaboration with Nielsen. The consumer confidence index reflects consumers’ assessment of their job prospects, their personal financial situation and their willingness to spend money – always with a view to the next twelve months. Since 2005, Nielsen has been researching consumer confidence in 64 countries worldwide.
In the first quarter of 2019, 48% of the Swiss stated that they regard the coming 12 months as a good time to buy. So what are they using their spare cash for? Holidays ranked No. 1 at 50%, followed by medical insurance (47%) and new clothes (35%).
Most Swiss also continue to see their personal financial situation as positive. More than half (59%) of the Swiss rate this as good or very good for 2019. In the previous quarter, it was 5%. By comparison, only 4% of the overall European average rate their finances as good or very good in the first quarter of 2019.
SWISS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HEALTH, JOB SECURITY AND GLOBAL WARMING
The figures also show what will worry the Swiss the most over the next 12 months. One in four Swiss (25%) states that their own health is one of their main concerns, increasing from 22% in Q4 2018. The second-biggest concern is global warming (23%, Q4 2018: 18%). Job security was third on the list (17%); however, levels of concern decreased from 19% in the fourth quarter.