Retail turnover in December 2021


Press release

Blackout: 01.02.2022, 08:30

06 Industry and services

Retail turnover in December 2021

Swiss retail turnover fell 0.5% in December – up 4.2% for the whole of 2021

Turnover adjusted for sales days and public holidays increased in retail trade by 0.5% in nominal terms in December 2021 compared to the previous year. Adjusted for seasonal variations, nominal sales decreased by 2.2% compared to the previous month. The result for 2021 was a considerable nominal increase of 4.2%. All sectors were able to offset most of the losses suffered partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. These are provisional findings from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

Real turnover adjusted for sales days and public holidays fell in the retail trade by 0.4% in December 2021 compared to the previous year. Real growth takes inflation into account. Compared to the previous month, the seasonally adjusted real turnover of the retail trade fell by 2.0%.

Retail trade excluding petrol stations

Adjusted for sales days and public holidays, retail trade excluding service stations posted a 1.8% drop in nominal turnover in December 2021 compared to December 2020 (in real terms -1.5% ). Retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco recorded a decline in nominal sales of 7.7% (in real terms -6.9%), while the non-food sector recorded a plus- nominal value of 2.9% (in real terms +2.8%).

Excluding petrol stations, the retail sector recorded a seasonally adjusted decline in its nominal turnover of 2.2% compared to the previous month (in real terms -2.1%). Retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco registered a nominal decline of 1.9% (in real terms -1.7%). The non-food sector posted a minus of 2.5% (in real terms -2.8%).

2021 as a whole: Sectors saw significant revenue increases

For the whole of 2021, the Swiss retail trade recorded a provisional increase in nominal turnover of 4.2% (+0.8% in real terms) compared to the previous year. The previous year, the increase was 1.0% (in real terms + 1.7%). With the exception of the food industry, all sectors showed strong growth and were able to offset most of the losses recorded in the previous year.

Although the retail trade of food, beverages and tobacco products stagnated in nominal terms (in real terms +1.2%), the previous year, it increased strongly in nominal terms with 8.9% (in real terms +8.6%).



FSO press release

The non-food sector recorded a nominal gain of 7.4% (in real terms +7.6%). In 2020, turnover showed negative figures (in nominal terms -3.7%; in real terms -2.5%).

The “information and communication equipment” (+7.8%; +11.4% in real terms) and “market stalls, retail sales by mail order or via the internet” (+6.3% +6.8% in real terms) confirmed their trend growth. The previous year, with +17.1% nominal (in real terms +25.8%) and +14.3%

(in real terms +15.0%) respectively, they had already posted positive figures. The “other household equipment, textiles, DIY and furniture” sector also joined this trend with an increase in turnover (in nominal +3.5% and in real +1.8%), (2020: in nominal +2.7%; in real terms +3.3%).

The “other goods (clothing, drugstore, watches and jewelry)” (+11.0%; in real terms +11.9%) and “cultural and leisure goods in specialized stores” (+6.6%; in real terms +55.9%) were able to offset their losses of the previous year.

Finally, the “service station” sector was able to post a nominal increase of 12.8% (2020: -14.2%). In real terms, revenue decreased in both 2021 (-3.0%) and 2020 (-3.9%).



FSO press release

Pandemic and statistical results

The COVID-19 pandemic is currently affecting the entire society and economy. To measure this impact, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) must continue in these difficult circumstances to provide the public, but in particular the media and decision-makers, with reliable data.

The results published in this press release are based on currently available data. They may need to be corrected or revised.

Methodological note

Unadjusted, seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted time series are available and can be viewed on the statistics website:

A breakdown by product group and company size is also available: only unadjusted figures are calculated for this breakdown.

The results are presented as an index (2015=100) in nominal and real terms. Real values ​​are obtained by correcting nominal values ​​for price changes using the Swiss consumer price index (CPI).

Data are seasonally adjusted to exclude seasonal fluctuations in the time series. This is done using the X12-ARIMA method. Each time, the entire time series is recalculated. In addition, all time series are corrected for calendar effects (not all months have the same number of sales days and holidays). The method used for the calendar adjustment consists in estimating the calendar effect using a regression model.

For each series, the model calculates an average weight for each day of the week and applies these weights to each month. The resulting monthly factors are used to adjust the turnover accordingly. The adjustment made in December may be somewhat distorted, since the adjustment factor is applied to the turnover of the month of December as a whole, despite the fact that the turnover of Christmas does not depend on the number of weekdays. In December 2016 (as well as in 2011 and 2005), this effect was particularly noticeable, as Christmas Day and Boxing Day fell on a Saturday and a Sunday, meaning that the month had more weekdays with high rotation than usual.

Survey Information

Retail trade turnover statistics are based on a random sample of approximately 3,000 businesses. This is a monthly survey, in which small businesses are asked to provide monthly turnover figures on a quarterly basis.

The statistics are based on the General Classification of Economic Activities (NOGA) of the year 2008, which meets international standards and classifies companies into different economic activities according to their economic activities.



FSO press release


Info IID, OFS, Economic surveys, tel. : +41 58 467 23 70, e-mail:

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This press release has been drawn up on the basis of the European Statistics Code of Practice, which guarantees the independence, integrity and accountability of national and Community statistical offices. Privileged access is monitored and embargoed.

The Swiss National Bank (exercise of its monetary policy) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (production of the quarterly GDP estimate) received the data underlying this press release five working days before publication for the needs mentioned. News agencies received this release with a 15-minute embargo.




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