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UBS Consumption Indicator signals acceleration in consumer spending

Zurich / Basel | | Media Releases Switzerland

The UBS Consumption Indicator rose again in April, signaling an acceleration in private consumer spending in Switzerland.

The UBS Consumption Indicator continued its upward trend in April, rising to 1.76 from the revised level of 1.68 in March.

The UBS Consumption Indicator is based on five sub-indicators: new car registrations, business activity in the retail sector, the number of overnight stays in domestic hotels by Swiss nationals, the consumer sentiment index, and credit card transactions processed by UBS at points of sale in Switzerland. While the increase in March was driven by a sharp rise in new car registrations, in April the Consumption Indicator was boosted primarily by significantly higher business activity in the retail sector. An improvement in the consumer sentiment index also had a positive effect.

The UBS Consumption Indicator is now well above its long-term average of 1.5. According to estimates by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, in the fourth quarter of last year private consumption was 2.1% higher year-on-year. The rise in the UBS Consumption Indicator and other favorable indicators (including the consumer sentiment index and surging retail sales) indicate that growth in consumption further increased in the first quarter of this year, buoyed by low interest rates, immigration and a rapidly recovering job market.

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 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, Economic Research Switzerland
Tel. +41 44 234 44 13

Hans-Peter Hausheer, Economic Research
Tel. +41 44 234 67 32

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