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European Investor Optimism Dips to New Low in July, According to UBS Index

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Economic uncertainty and the issue of questionable accounting practices dampened optimism among individual investors across Europe in July, according to the Index of Investor Optimism® - EU 5, a joint effort of UBS and the Gallup Organization.

The overall Index continued to decline to a level of 2 points in July, down from 8 points in June (Table 1) with investor optimism for the first time even lower than the level of optimism in the first survey (4 points) conducted in October 2001. Investor pessimism on the achievability of their investment targets in the coming 12 months contributed the most to the Index decline (-4 points). However, the assessment of the macroeconomic outlook, including growth, unemployment and inflation, remained broadly stable with an overall total change of -6 points compared to -20 points between May and June (Table 2).

Almost two thirds (65 percent) of investors with an opinion believe a moderate economic recovery would best describe prospects for the European economy over the next year (almost unchanged from 67 percent in June). 28 percent of investors with an opinion expected continued economic weakness which remains unchanged from June but only 4 percent of investors surveyed expected a strong economic recovery and 2 percent expected the the economic situation to worsen.

London, 22 July 2002
UBS AG