Latest insights

As regions reopen and activity returns, see what the latest insights from UBS Evidence Lab reveal.



How is COVID-19 affecting US hospital investment? 

According to UBS Evidence Lab's latest survey of hospital executives, IT is the area where they are delaying capital spending the most, followed by robotic surgery. A smaller share are delaying spending on radiation oncology, while investment in patient monitors is showing an increase.

  • Every month, UBS Evidence Lab surveys 40 CEOs and CFOs of short-term acute care hospitals in the US. The latest wave was fielded on July 2-13.
  • Topics include patient volumes, COVID-19 lab testing, surgical procedures being delayed, capex plans, and more.

Percent of Hospitals Delaying/Accelerating Capex

Source: UBS Evidence Lab

How soon from now would you be comfortable traveling and/or going on vacation?

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Civic Science



Do US consumers see life getting back to normal? 

Consumers' willingness to travel/go on vacation has declined: the share who are not ready to travel for 6 months or more has exceeded 50% for the first time (53%), up from 41% 2 weeks ago.

  • UBS Evidence Lab leverages data from an online survey of 5-10K US consumers per week on COVID-19-related issues. The survey collects an average of 5 million responses per day to ~1,200 questions via partnerships with thousands of web sites.
  • Topics include employment situation, spending, travel plans, shopping habits, concern over the spread of COVID-19, and more.  



Is the US housing market recovering? 

The decline in housing inventory accelerated year-over-year in April but flattened out in May. During the same period, price growth stagnated before recovering close to pre-pandemic levels.

  • UBS Evidence Lab's housing monitor assesses the strength of the market in different regions by looking at prices, days on market, discounting, inventory, and other measures. 
  • Our datasets cover the US, UK, and various countries in APAC and include surveys of consumer housing intentions.

US Housing Inventory and Median Price (Change Y/Y)

Source: UBS Evidence Lab

As regions reopen and activity returns, see what the latest insights from UBS Evidence Lab reveal.



What does social distancing look like in the skies? See the economic impact on airlines and consumers.

If airlines maintained social distancing of 6 feet between groups of passengers, narrow-body planes would fly at only 16% of capacity vs. the ~70% needed for carriers to turn a profit. 

  • UBS Evidence Lab used computer-aided design to estimate the impact of socially distanced seating scenarios on airline load factors for narrow- and wide-body planes. 
  • These scenarios are based on actual passenger booking data showing the typical number of groups of different sizes on a flight.


Global shipping

Is trade starting to normalize? Get the latest as we track the movement and cargo loads of over 17,000 vessels across the globe.

US exports aboard bulker ships declined sharply after China announced in August 2019 that it would stop importing US agricultural products.

  • UBS Evidence Lab uses real-time data from satellites and remote sensors to track the movements and cargo loads of more than 17,000 vessels making over 125,000 voyages a year. 
  • By looking at which ports and shipping routes are most active, we can monitor supply chains, trade, and the health of the world economy.

Global shipping routes

As regions reopen and activity returns, see what the latest insights from UBS Evidence Lab reveal.

Top 5 Grocery Shopping Apps: Average Download Ranking in Category

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Sensor Tower. Note: The top 5 grocery shopping apps are Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, Target, and Walmart Grocery Shopping, with a 60%+ share of downloads in the online grocery category; data as of May 16, 2020


Online grocery shopping

Are consumers doing more of their grocery shopping online? 

The average download ranking of the top 5 US grocery apps rose in March and April. By mid-May, it had fallen back to around pre-pandemic levels.

  • UBS Evidence Lab tracks daily download rankings for thousands of mobile applications in the iOS and Google Play stores across more than 50 countries. 
  • Categories include grocery, ride-on-demand, streaming video, remote working, and more. 
  • These rankings show which categories and platforms are gaining or losing popularity among consumers.


US consumers 

How have consumers' spending habits changed?

Almost half of US consumers say they are using credit/debit cards more often than before the outbreak, with 32% doing so because they are ordering online/over the phone.

  • UBS Evidence Lab PulseChecks are short surveys (usually fewer than 5 questions) with a fast turnaround aimed at gauging respondents' views on timely issues. They are created, fielded and analyzed within 1-2 weeks. 
  • We run over 100 consumer surveys across 25 sectors in several countries to gauge consumer sentiment, spending intentions, brand loyalty, price positioning, and more.

Use of Credit/Debit Cards vs. Pre-COVID-19

Source: UBS Evidence Lab

As regions reopen and activity returns, see what the latest insights from UBS Evidence Lab reveal.

Foot Traffic to Grocery & Pharmacy Locations Relative to Base Rate (7-Day Moving Average)

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Google LLC "Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports" Accessed: June 25, 2020. Note: The baseline is the median value for the corresponding day of the week during the 5-week period Jan 3-Feb 6, 2020.


Foot traffic

What does foot traffic tell us about the recovery in different countries? 

Visits to grocery stores and pharmacies dropped sharply during the pandemic in India and Spain. In the US, visits are now back to pre-COVID-19 levels, while in Spain they are ~10% below.

  • Using Google data from mobile phones, UBS Evidence Lab shows changes in the number of people visiting various types of locations including workplaces, retail stores, recreational facilities, parks, etc. in hundreds of countries around the world.
  • We also compare this data with the store locations of hundreds of retailers to gauge their exposure to markets that are recovering or reversing.


Amusement parks 

Can the Magic Kingdom have magic without the crowds? Find out how many people it can accommodate with social distancing. 

With a social distance of 6 feet between groups, the park can hold ~28k visitors, or 50% of the average pre-pandemic level.

  • Using geospatial techniques, UBS Evidence Lab digitized the Magic Kingdom, dividing the usable area into hexagons representing individual visitors. 
  • We looked at how many of these hexagons can fit into various sections of the park under social-distancing scenarios of 4 feet, 6 feet, and 8 feet between groups.


Which regions are seeing signs of normal activity resuming and which ones are now seeing signs of second waves?

Traffic congestion in Germany and Florida fell after a rise in COVID-19 cases. Singapore's congestion increased from nearly zero as cases declined.

  • UBS Evidence Lab's global data on auto congestion, public transit, and foot traffic provides a glimpse of mobility in over 30 countries.
  • Monitoring where people are getting out more and where they are going helps in assessing the strength of the recovery around the world.

Relative Traffic Congestion in Germany, Florida and Singapore

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, TomTom. Note: Relative Congestion is traffic congestion relative to 2019 levels and is calculated as a 7-day rolling average

As regions reopen and activity returns, see what the latest insights from UBS Evidence Lab reveal.