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UBS Consumption Indicator: Employment growth supports consumption

Zurich Media Releases Switzerland

The UBS Consumption Indicator rose to 1.63 points in August from 1.59 points in July. An increase in employment in the second quarter supported private consumption and helped the index rise for the fifth month in a row.

Zurich, 30. September 2015 – The UBS Consumption Indicator increased from 1.59 to 1.63 points in August, primarily due to the improved employment situation in the second quarter. In the tertiary sector, employment rose by 1.6% compared to the previous year. This resulting increase in the disposable income of private households supported private consumption. But the gloomy employment picture described by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) may limit the growth in consumption.

The slightly less negative outlook in the retail sector and the month-on-month increase in new vehicle registrations (seasonally adjusted) also boosted the UBS Consumption Indicator. The number of overnight stays made by domestic guests has also climbed recently. The unusually warm weather lead consumers to take more holidays in Switzerland, which combined with the improved employment situation helped to raise domestic consumption and the indicator. 

Sources: Seco, UBS

How the UBS Consumption Indicator is calculated
The UBS Consumption Indicator signals private consumption trends in Switzerland with a lead time of one to three months on the official figures. At more than 50%, private consumption is by far the most important component of Swiss GDP. UBS calculates this leading indicator from six consumer-related parameters: new car registrations, business activity in the retail sector, the number of domestic overnight hotel stays by Swiss residents, the consumer sentiment index, employment figures and credit card transactions made via UBS at points of sale in Switzerland. With the exception of the consumer sentiment index and employment figures, all of this data is available monthly.

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