Political uncertainty decreases retailers optimism

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Swedish retail traders’ optimism drops marginally in September.

Political uncertainty decreases their confidence.

According to Svensk Handel’s Trade Barometer for September about half of the surveyed traders believe in an increase in sales in the next three months. This means a decrease by one point from last month’s low of plus 7 to plus 6.

”Insecurity and political uncertainty is never good for trade, and I think it’s decreasing merchants’ confidence in the future until we see how the forming of a government looks like. But basically, there is a positive outlook and we see an economic recovery that will benefit the purchasing power of households”, says Jonas Arnberg, chief economist at the Swedish Trade.

In the month of September merchants in the panel also answered questions about the views and wishes they get their customers.

”At election time we can conclude that direct democracy in Sweden is increasing, at least in terms of consumer power. Via trade, the consumer can make their voice heard, not just every four years, but every day. Customers are increasingly demanding and have greater potential to influence what is sold and how it is produced”, said Jonas Arnberg.

The responses in the survey shows that it is increasingly common that customers have opinions on the store’s assortment. Half of the grocery retailers grocery retailers responded that it has become more common in recent years. Organic and local products are most demanded. A majority of retailers say that they get comments every day or every week.