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UBS consumption indicator: solid private consumption towards end of 2014

Zurich/Basel Media Releases Switzerland

Thanks to numerous new car registrations, the UBS consumption indicator climbed from 1.29 to 1.42 points in December. The somber mood in the retail industry, however, is curbing expectations for major consumption growth.

Zurich/Basel, 28 January 2015 – In December, new car registrations climbed 20% compared to the previous month (seasonally adjusted). This is the highest December number since data collection began in 1995. In the past 20 years, there have only been five other months in which reported car sales were higher. Nevertheless, exuberance about the growth of private consumption would be premature, since higher carbon taxes for new car purchases came into force as of January 2015. It's likely, therefore, that many of these car purchases were made in advance of this deadline, so weaker car sales can be expected for early 2015.

The declining optimism in the retail sector is burdening the consumption indicator and curbing expectations for growth in private consumption. The consumer sentiment index dropped from 3 to –6 points in December, reflecting the pessimism felt by most retailers at the end of 2014 

Sources: Seco, UBS




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