Bloomberg News

Swiss Consumer Confidence Falls to Lowest Since July 2009

November 09, 2011

(Updates with economist comment in fifth paragraph, sub- indexes in sixth.)

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss consumer confidence weakened more than economists forecast in October as households grew more pessimistic about job prospects and the economic outlook.

An index based on a quarterly survey of about 1,100 households declined to minus 24 from minus 17 in July, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said in an e-mailed statement today. That’s the lowest since July 2009. Economists forecast a drop to minus 22, according to the median of eight estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Swiss households are growing more pessimistic as the economy shows signs of cooling and a surging franc adds pressure on companies to cut costs and eliminate jobs. Bobst SA, a packaging-machinery maker, said today it’s cutting more than 400 jobs worldwide as the Swiss currency’s strength calls for “drastic action” to reduce costs.

Novartis AG, Europe’s second-largest pharmaceutical company, last month said it plans to eliminate 1,100 jobs in its home market.

“Swiss economic growth will decline in the coming year,” said Cornelia Luchsinger, an economist at Zuercher Kantonalbank in Zurich. “Unemployment will go up and, as a consequence, private consumption will remain under pressure.”

A subindex gauging economic prospects fell to minus 38 from minus 22 in July, according to the SECO statement. A measure of expected unemployment climbed to 73 from 54, indicating a worsening outlook, and a gauge of expected savings increased to 16 from 9, adding to signs of consumers’ reluctance to spend money in the coming 12 months.

--Editors: Paul Verschuur, James Kraus

To contact the reporter on this story: Klaus Wille in Zurich at kwille@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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