Latest media releases


UBS Consumption Indicator indicates good Christmas season

Zurich / Basel | | Media Releases Switzerland

Strong retail sales and new car registrations in December

The UBS Consumption Indicator rose from 1.62 in November to 1.84 in December, indicating a robust Christmas season. For 2011 as a whole, UBS Research Switzerland forecasts above-average growth in private consumption.

December's increase reflects a sharp rise in new car registrations (+17.6% compared to a year ago) and a stronger retail sector. In 2010, new car registrations increased by 10.6% compared to the previous year. This is the highest growth rate in the past 20 years, and surpasses pre-crisis levels.

UBS Research Switzerland believes that the positive momentum in private consumption is likely to continue in 2011 and forecasts above-average growth in consumption of 1.7% over the year. The mainstays of private consumption remain low interest rates and continued high levels of immigration.

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

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 time 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 registrations, 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 this data is available monthly.

Contact:

Caesar Lack, Swiss Economic Research
Tel. +41 44 234 21 19

Daniel Kalt, Swiss Economic Research
Tel. +41 44 234 25 60

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