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UBS consumption indicator: offsetting indicators prompt sideways shuffle
The UBS consumption indicator shifted sideways in March. Higher domestic demand for hotel accommodations offset the decline in new car registrations and a poorer climate in retail trade.
Zurich/Basel, 24 April 2013 – The UBS consumption indicator rose minimally in March month-on-month to 1.25 from 1.24 (revised from 1.26). Positive signs in the demand for hotel accommodations among Swiss residents offset a decline in new car registrations and a poorer business climate in retail trade.
Prime snow conditions made skiing vacations more attractive: In the winter months, the number of overnight hotel stays by Swiss residents rose 1% in Switzerland compared to the previous year. This fuels hope that things in the Swiss tourism industry could improve somewhat in the current year after a bad year in 2012. The poor situation in the tourism industry, however, has scarcely dented the prices for overnight stays: According to the Swiss consumer price index from the Federal Office of Statistics, prices for overnight stays have fallen only 0.8% in the past 12 months. Hotel prices thus developed in more or less the same way as the entire Swiss consumer price index, which declined 0.6% in the same time period.
After starting the year by exceeding expectations, new car registrations collapsed in March. With 12.1% fewer new registrations for the month year-on-year, the automotive market appears to be heading quite exactly toward the 10% decline for the full year 2013 expected by car importers at the beginning of the year. Figures for the business climate in retail trade were disappointing. After a slightly positive trend in recent months, the situation deteriorated again clearly in March.
Daniel Kalt, UBS Chief Economist Switzerland
Phone +41-44-234 25 60, email@example.com
Bernd Aumann, UBS CIO Wealth Management Research
Tel. +41-44-234 88 71, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sibille Duss, UBS CIO Wealth Management Research
Tel. +41-44-235 69 54, email@example.com
UBS publications and forecasts for Switzerland: www.ubs.com/wmr-swiss-research