Swiss ready to spend more this Christmas
Swiss consumers retain a cautious outlook for the economy but are ready to spend a little more this Christmas than in the previous year, according to the 2013 Christmas retail survey by accounting and consulting company Deloitte.
The survey shows that Swiss households are budgeting an average of 807 francs (€656 or $893) for this yuletide season, up three percent from a year ago.
The level is the fourth highest in Europe, according to the Deloitte survey of 18 countries on the continent.
Only households in Ireland (€894, down 1.7 percent from the previous year), Luxembourg (€825, up 0.2 percent) and Finland (€692, up 1.3 percent) are planning to spend more than the Swiss.
And only consumers in Germany and Denmark have a more positive outlook for the economy than the Swiss among those in the countries surveyed.
The survey showed that 39 percent of Swiss consumers planned to shop online for their Christmas purchases, which remains considerably behind the level in such countries as the US and the UK not included in the Deloitte study.
A total of 17,354 adult consumers were surveyed, including 779 from Switzerland.
Among other findings of the study:
— Use of mobile phones for commercial online transactions is on the rise, with 33 percent of Swiss consumers saying the’ve used smartphones for purchases, while 47 percent plan to do so in the future.
— Swiss shoppers are among the earliest Christmas shoppers in Europe, with 47 percent saying they expect to buy most of their gifts either in November or before (compared to a European average of 36 percent).
— Cross-border shopping in neighbouring European countries has stabilized but 48 percent of Swiss consumers still plan to make some of their Christmas purchases outside of Switzerland, where the euro remains weak against the Swiss franc.
— Money (cash), books and travel vouchers are the most desired presents for Swiss, followed by restaurant meals and gift vouchers.
—The most popular gifts that Swiss intend to give are books, followed by chocolates, cosmetics/perfumes and gift vouchers.
— A gap has widened between gifts desired and gifts received by Swiss consumers, with highly sought after travel vouchers, for example, “not likely to be found under the Christmas tree”.
For more information about the report, check here.