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UBS Consumption Indicator points to further increase in consumer demand

Zurich / Basel | | Media Releases Switzerland

The rise in the UBS Consumption Indicator in July was broad-based, with all sub-indicators improving.

The UBS Consumption Indicator continued to rise in July, increasing to a value of 1.86 from its June level of 1.80.

The UBS Consumption Indicator is calculated from five sub-indicators: new car registrations, business activity in the retail sector, the number of domestic overnight stays in hotels by Swiss citizens, the consumer sentiment index and credit card transactions via UBS at points of sale in Switzerland.

After record growth in the previous month, July was also characterized by a high number of new car registrations (+6.1% year-on-year). Business activity in the retail sector improved considerably, but is still at a relatively low level. The other components of the UBS Consumption Indicator also contributed to its overall rise.

On September 2, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) will publish the quarterly estimate of the gross domestic product for the second quarter of 2010. UBS expects very encouraging figures. The growth rate of private consumption may well reach the magnitude of the first quarter (+2.2% year-on-year). The UBS Consumption Indicator is still clearly below this level and should thus continue to rise in the coming months.

UBS Consumption Indicator and private consumption in Switzerland
(Private consumption: year-on-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 of the official figures. At 57%, private consumption is by far the most important component of Swiss GDP. UBS calculates this leading indicator from five consumer-related parameters: new car sales, the business activity in the retail sector, the number of domestic overnight hotel stays by Swiss nationals, 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 available monthly.

Contact:

Caesar Lack, Swiss Economic Research
TEL. +41 44 234 44 13

Carla Duss, Swiss Economic Research
Tel. +41 44 234 21 19

UBS publications and forecasts for Switzerland: www.ubs.com/wmr-swiss-research