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UBS Consumption Indicator on the rise

Zurich / Basel Media Releases Switzerland

The UBS Consumption Indicator climbed significantly in March, reaching its highest level since April 2002. This signals continuing healthy growth of consumer spending in Switzerland.

The UBS Consumption Indicator reached a new high of 1.74 for the month of March, up sharply from February's 1.40 and the highest level since April 2002. This signals continuing solid growth in consumer spending.

Calculation of the UBS Consumption Indicator is based on five sub-indicators. The indicators are available every month (with the exception of consumer sentiment) and usually very promptly. The positive March result was primarily attributable to the extremely healthy increase in new car registrations and by the recent strong growth in the consumer sentiment indicator, which was included in the calculation for this month. A slight negative effect came from the business trend in the retail sector, however, which was below its long-term average. Also included in the calculation of the UBS Consumption Indicator are the monthly number of hotel overnight stays by Swiss nationals in Switzerland and the credit card transactions via UBS points of sale in Switzerland.

The very positive trend of the UBS Consumption Indicator suggests that consumer spending will continue to grow at a healthy rate. With consumers much more optimistic about the future and the positive signals from the labour market, we can even expect slightly accelerated growth in consumer spending as the year progresses. For the year as a whole, UBS expects 1.9% average real growth in consumer spending.

UBS Consumption Indicator and private consumption in Switzerland
(Private consumption: year-on-year change in %, UBS Consumption Indicator: index level)


Daniel Kalt

Head of Swiss Economic Research

Tel. +41 44 234 25 60

Andreas Breitenmoser

Swiss Economic Research

Tel. +41 44 235 39 43