Zurich – Swiss retail sales are set to drop 4.1% this year after pent – up demand during pandemic – hit 2021 dissipates and shoppers return to normal patterns of spending, Credit Suisse analysts said on Wednesday.
The amount spent on food, which benefit from a closure of restaurants last year and limited competition from cross – border shopping in cheaper countries, such as Germany and France, is expected to decline by 5.5.%.
Non – food shopping is expected to drop by 2.8% in 2022, Credit Suisse said in its retail outlook report, one of the first forward – looking economic analyses of the year.
Still, after a 2.4% increase in overall retail spending in 2021, Swiss shops should still do better than during the pre – pandemic year of 2019, the authors of the study said.
They forecast food retailing 4.5% above 2019 levels and non – food retail 2.1% higher.
‘We expect a decline from 2021 levels this year as many of the positive factors which drove sales will be absent’, said Credit Suisse economist Tiziana Hunziker.
‘Last year people bought long – lasting goods like computers, skis or furniture, while in other areas like DIY and hobby products people have stocked up’, she added. ‘Still, I think we will be above pre – crisis levels’.
Estimates indicate that in 2020 retail revenues totalled about 99 billion Swiss francs ($108.17 billion) and last year have likely surpassed the 100 billion franc level for the first time.
Retail consultant Martin Hotz said while the food sector had a good 2021, other areas like shoes and fashion were nervous and looking to cut costs.
Swiss retail sales were 1.2% higher in October compared with the same month a year earlier. November figures are due on Jan.7.
Neighbouring Germany on Tuesday reported its retail sales rose unexpectedly in November despite renewed COVID – 19 restrictions.