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Swiss retail trade turnover soared in May after easing of COVID-19 measures

According to the report from Federal Statistical Office, turnover adjusted for sales days and holidays rose in the retail sector by 5.6% in nominal terms in May 2020 compared with the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, nominal turnover rose by 30.2% compared with the previous month. 

Real turnover adjusted for sales days and holidays rose in the retail sector by 6.6% in May 2020 compared with the previous year. Real growth takes inflation into consideration. Compared with the previous month, real, seasonally adjusted retail trade turnover registered an increase of 30.7%.

Adjusted for sales days and holidays, the retail sector excluding service stations showed an 8.2% increase in nominal turnover in May 2020 compared with May 2019 (in real terms +8.9%). Retail sales of food, drinks and tobacco registered an increase in nominal turnover of 20.8% (in real terms +20.1%), whereas the non-food sector registered a nominal negative of 3.2% (in real terms –1.7%). Sectors that have been negatively affected by the crisis reported varying growth patterns: While “other household equipment, textiles, DIY and furniture” saw gains (+16.5%; in real terms +18.4%), in the sector “other goods (clothing, chemists, watches and jewellery)” (–20.8%; in real terms –20.2%) turnover fell again although less than in April. Sustained and increased turnover growth were recorded by the sectors “market stalls, retail sale via mail order houses or via internet” (+29.4%; in real terms +30.0%) and “information and communication equipment” (+31.3%; in real terms +42.5%).

Excluding service stations, the retail sector showed a seasonally adjusted increase in nominal turnover of 32.1% compared with the previous month (in real terms +32.2%). Retail sales of food, drinks and tobacco registered a plus of 13.3% (in real terms +13.7%). The non-food sector showed a plus of 61.2% (in real terms +61.4%).

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