Swtizerland’s retail sales decreased for a third month in row in December, and at the fastest pace since April, despite Christmas holidays as households cut back on spending amid high inflation, preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed Tuesday.
Total retail sales decreased 2.8 percent year-on-year following a revised 1.4 percent slump in November. Economists had expected the pace of decline to moderate to 0.7 percent.
This was the worst fall since April, when sales shrank 5.7 percent.
Excluding service stations, sales decreased 3.0 percent following a 1.8 percent fall in the previous month.
In December, the biggest decline of 9.6 percent was witnessed in the group that included sales of other household equipment, textiles, do-it-yourself products and furniture.
This was followed by a 6.2 percent fall in the sales of food, beverages, and tobacco. Non-food sales decreased 0.6 percent.
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Sales of information and communication equipment grew at 1.2 percent, which was sharply slower than the strong double-digit growth in the segment over the past few months.
Cultural and recreational goods, and other goods segments also registered sales growth in December.
Online sales and those through mail order fell for a third month, down 0.3 percent, which was slower than the declines in the past two months.
Clothing and footwear sales grew for the first time in three months, up 1.5 percent. Motor fuel sales increased 5.8 percent after a 0.7 percent rise in the previous month.
Read more: Switzerland Inflation Surges To 2.8% In 2022
On a month-on-month basis, retail sales decreased a real 1.7 percent in December, after a 0.6 percent increase in November. This was also the worst fall since April and was driven by an 8.5 percent slump in sales of information and communication equipment.
For the full year 2022, retail sales grew a real 0.2 percent.
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