UBS Consumption Indicator: Light and shade
The UBS consumption indicator rose from 1.38 to 1.43 points in January and continues to signal solid growth in private consumption. Swiss consumers view the economic and financial situation with considerably more optimism than in the last quarter. New car registrations and domestic tourism have, however, fallen compared with the previous January.
Zurich, 1 March 2017 – Following a comprehensive data revision, the UBS consumption indicator climbed from 1.38 to 1.43 points in January. The rise owes to a clear improvement in consumer sentiment as the Consumer Sentiment Index published by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs climbed from -13 to -3 points. Compared with the previous year, new car registrations decreased 3.7%. At 48.9%, the share of new cars with four-wheel drive makes up the biggest proportion of the purchases, which may be due to the large amount of snow that fell in January. As expected, domestic tourism rose slightly from November to December, benefiting from Christmas business. But compared with the same month last year, the number of overnight hotel stays dropped 2.3%.
Swiss citizens view the general economic situation in their country as well as their own professional and financial position in the first quarter of this year, with considerably more optimism than before. Consumer sentiment has reached its highest value since July 2014. Thanks to declining unemployment, and for the first time since the franc shock in January 2015, labor market data is no longer rated pessimistically. There are few changes with respect to expected price behavior. UBS's forecast of 0.4% inflation this year appears consistent with consumer sentiment. Overall, the consumer sentiment has brightened with regard to national economic developments. We nevertheless remain cautious about consumption this year. There is still too much uncertainty on the capital markets given the upcoming elections in France and the unpredictability of the Trump administration.
UBS Switzerland AG
Sibille Duss, UBS Chief Investment Office WM
Phone +41-44-235 69 54, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alessandro Bee, UBS Chief Investment Office WM
Phone +41-44-234 88 71, email@example.com
UBS publications and forecasts for Switzerland: www.ubs.com/cio-swiss-views