Swiss Retail Sales Growth Slows for the Second Month
THE TAKEAWAY: Swiss retail sales grow 3.2% annually -> Swiss PMI for manufacturing reported at 46.7 -> Swiss Franc trades steady
Swiss retail sales have grown for the tenth straight month on an annual basis, but July’s rate of growth was reported lower for the second month. July retail sales (real) were up 3.2% from July 2011, lower than June’s revised 3.3% annually higher retail sales, according to the Federal Statistical Office.
Swiss food, beverages and tobacco sales were up 1.5% in July compared to July 2011, while other goods (excluding fuel) were up 3.5%.
Additionally, the Swiss Purchasing Managers’ Index disappointed expectations and was reported at 46.7 in August, lower than the expected 49.1 survey result and last month’s 48.6 index. The survey indicates a decline in manufacturing activity in the upcoming months.
The Swiss economy has thus far performed well in 2012, avoiding pressures from the Euro debt crisis, and has therefore become an ideal safe haven for investors. That is why Swiss 5-year bond yields turned negative at the end of May, and the 10-year benchmark bond yield continues to decline in the same direction.
The Swiss Franc did not respond to the higher retail sales or lower PMI, but has traded in a tight range since today’s open, following the low volatility of Euro trading in the session. USDCHF has receded from a 1.5-year high set in late July right below parity, and the pair is currently trading near .9500.
USDCHF 15-minute: September 3, 2012
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