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UBS Consumption Indicator remains at high level

Zurich / Basel | | Media Releases Switzerland

The UBS Consumption Indicator trod water at a high level in November, matching the 1.89 recorded in October, and so continues to point towards strong private consumption.

The monthly UBS Consumption Indicator held steady at 1.89 in November, the same value as in October. It is therefore well above the long-term average of 1.49.

Positive contributions to the UBS Consumption Indicator (which is calculated on the basis of five sub-indicators) in November came from the business trend survey in the retail sector as determined by the KOF, which has reached a very high level. The same is true for the intact consumer sentiment and new car registrations. 22,016 new cars were sold in November, an increase of 2.9% compared with the same month last year.

All in all, the UBS Consumption Indicator continues to give a thoroughly positive picture of the consumer climate in Switzerland. Private consumption is therefore likely to remain solid and a mainstay of growth in the fourth quarter. In addition to consumers' increased confidence in the future and the continuing positive trend on the job market, the prospect of attractive wage rises in 2007 is likely to have a stimulating effect. According to the latest UBS salary survey, basic salaries can be expected to go up by an average of 2% next year, which would be the biggest increase in five years. Overall, UBS's economists expect real consumer spending growth of around 2% in 2007, in line with this year.

UBS Consumption Indicator and private consumption in Switzerland
(Private consumption: year-over-year change in %, UBS Consumption Indicator: index level)

Calculation of the UBS Consumption Indicator:

The UBS Consumption Indicator signals private consumption trends in Switzerland with a lead of about three months on the official figures. At 61%, private consumption is by far the most important component of Swiss GDP. The UBS economic barometer is calculated on the basis of five consumer-related indicators: new car sales, business conditions in the retail sector, the number of overnight hotel stays by Swiss nationals in Switzerland, the consumer sentiment index and credit card transactions made via UBS at points of sale in Switzerland. With the exception of the consumer sentiment index, all of these data are produced on a monthly basis.

Contact:

Hans-Peter Hausheer

Economic & Swiss Research

Tel. +41-44-234 67 32

Simone Hofer Frei

Economic & Swiss Research

Tel. +41-44-234 48 73

UBS publications and forecasts for Switzerland: www.ubs.com/economicresearch