UBS consumption indicator: a pleasant end to summer
The UBS consumption indicator increased to 1.53 points in August thanks to robust new car registrations and encouraging numbers of hotel stays by Swiss residents, indicating consumption growth slightly above the long-term average of 1.5%. However, the UBS economists still project 1.3% consumer spending growth for the year overall.
Zurich, 27 September 2017 – The UBS consumption indicator rose to 1.53 points in August. The original July value was revised up to 1.46 points. The consumption indicator was altered after the Federal Statistical Office revised consumption figures for previous years in late August.
New car registrations in August boosted the UBS consumption indicator. August saw nearly 6% more new car registrations than the same month last year. The upward trend in overnight hotel stays by Swiss residents also helped. Overnight stays in July increased nearly 3% compared to July 2016. Overnight stays from January to July increased by almost 4% compared with the same period last year. Weak employment growth is still affecting the consumption indicator. In the second quarter, employment increased only 0.2%, well below the 1% average since 2000.
The UBS consumption indicator shows slightly higher consumption growth in August than forecast by the UBS Chief Investment Office Wealth Management for the overall year. Due to weak employment growth in the first six months and the rise in inflation, consumer spending is not expected to increase more than 1.3% in 2017.
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Sibille Duss, UBS Chief Investment Office WM
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Alessandro Bee, UBS Chief Investment Office WM
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