Latest insights

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



Could branded biologic drugs lose share to biosimilars?  

In terms of efficacy and safety, ~60% of physicians view biosimilars as equivalent to branded biologics, according to UBS Evidence Lab's recent survey. 80% do not believe biosimilars should be subject to pharmacy interchangeability.

  • UBS Evidence Lab surveyed physicians on their use of biosimilars, which are off-patent versions of branded biologics (large-molecule drugs that are expensive and complex to manufacture).
  • Pharmacy interchangeability is the ability of drug stores (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) to substitute biologics for a generic biosimilar.

Percentage of Physicians Agreeing with Statements on Biosimilars

Source: UBS Evidence Lab


Implied Probability of Winning Majority in US Senate

Source: UBS Evidence Lab. Note: Chart shows implied probability based on betting odds at leading bookmakers.


Which party do bookmakers favor to win the US Senate?  

According to implied probabilities from the betting markets, Democrats have a 62% chance of winning a majority in the US Senate vs. 34% for Republicans. The gap has widened significantly since mid-September.

  • UBS Evidence Lab looks at the likelihood of different political outcomes according to prediction markets, such as bookmakers and betting exchanges.
  • This dataset includes over 20 other political events, including the US presidential election (both nationally and in swing states), the House of Representatives contest, and competitive Senate races.
  • Note that the sum of implied probabilities of different outcomes often exceeds 100%, as bookmakers and exchanges charge a premium for placing bets.

Disclaimer: The implied probabilities presented in this analysis reflect the betting odds as set by bookmakers and betting exchanges and do not reflect the views of UBS or UBS Evidence Lab.



Which types of activity have recovered most in Germany? 

In Germany, dining out in July and August was higher than it had been a year earlier, though it has recently fallen to more normal levels. Foot traffic to workplaces and use of public transit remain well below pre-pandemic levels.

  • UBS Evidence Lab's COVID-19 Activity Monitor combines various measures of mobility and consumer activity, including traffic congestion, public transit, dining out, and foot traffic to places such as retailers, parks, and workplaces.
  • The data covers 50+ countries and regions, 400+ cities, and all 50 US states and is updated weekly.

Germany Mobility and Activity Trends

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Google LLC "Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports" Accessed: September 30, 2020, Moovit at, OpenTable. Note: Foot traffic is indexed to median value for that day of the week from Jan 3 -Feb 6, 2020 and is a 7-day rolling average; public transit mobility is the ratio of the last 7 days of usage of Moovit app vs. usage from Jan 9 - Jan 15, 2020; dining-out index reflects calendar-adjusted y/y change in number of seated diners, with no change equal to 100.


Which Style Will Perform Better Between Now and the End of 2020? (Percentage of Respondents)

Source: UBS Evidence Lab


What do investors think will drive performance?  

In terms of style, investors generally believe growth will outperform value, with 50% of survey respondents citing the former vs. 38% for the latter. 12% said they did not know.

  • UBS Evidence Lab surveyed 683 institutional investors around the world in August on their outlook for the rest of this year and 2021. The survey covered multiple equity and fixed-income markets.
  • Topics included which styles will outperform, what key factors will drive performance, where bond yields are headed, and more. Investors' views on various subjects can be compared with their overall outlook for markets.


Air Quality  

How have wildfires in the US affected air quality? 

Fires in California and Oregon have prompted officials to issue evacuation orders and affected air quality from Mexico to Canada. UBS Evidence Lab measures smoke density to see which areas have been impacted the most. The Air Quality Index (AQI) for San Francisco and San Jose has reached unhealthy levels, and both cities have exceeded Shanghai in recent AQI readings. In San Francisco, the AQI is approaching levels considered "hazardous".

  • UBS Evidence Lab analyzes hourly Air Quality Index data for over 8K cities around the world. The index measures various types of air pollution, including particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide.
  • This data shows whether air pollution has reached unhealthy or even hazardous levels. It also has broad implications for the environment.

Smoke Density from West Coast Wildfires

Source: UBS Evidence Lab

US Education App iPhone Download Rankings (All Categories)

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Sensor Tower



Which are the most popular online education apps in the US? 

Among all app categories, Google Classroom's download ranking has risen sharply year-over-year, from #224 in August 2019 to #51 in August 2020. Remind: School Communication remains the top-ranked education app, consistent with one year ago.

  • UBS Evidence Lab looks at app download share and rankings for thousands of mobile applications in the iOS and Google Play store across more than 50 countries/regions.
  • This data can help assess which online learning platforms are most popular over time and relative to competitors.



Which countries have imposed the most travel restrictions? 

The US has placed restrictions on travelers from 31 countries/regions, by far the lowest number in the G20, followed by France. Italy and China are among the countries with the most restrictions. 

  • UBS Evidence Lab tracks six types of travel restrictions (medical, mobility, nationality, visa, documentation and other) on over 60,000 routes between 247 countries/regions.
  • The data includes the number and type of restrictions on travel into and out of a given country.

Number of Countries/Regions Restricted from Travel into Italy, China, France, US (as of 17-Aug-20)

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, International Organization for Migration

US Median Prices and Inventory of Single-Family Homes and Apartments (Y/Y Change)

Source: UBS Evidence Lab. Note: Data as of August 1, 2020


Real Estate

How strong is the US housing market? 

Supply of single-family homes in the US remains much tighter than in 2019, while supply of apartments turned around in May and was up year-over-year in July. Both categories saw similar median price gains in July and August.

  • UBS Evidence Lab tracks key monthly housing data in the US, UK, and various markets in Asia.
  • Metrics include prices, days on market, discounting, inventory, exits, and other measures and can be broken down into single-family homes and apartments.

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

Public Transit Ridership in European Countries

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Moovit at Note: Public transit mobility is the ratio of the last 7 days of usage of the Moovit app vs. usage from Jan 9-Jan 15, 2020.



How does use of public transit differ across Europe? 

In Germany, public transit ridership relative to pre-COVID-19 levels is among the highest in Europe and continues to rise. In the UK, it has steadied after increasing since April, while in Italy and France, it has fallen recently. 

  • UBS Evidence Lab looks at various measures of mobility, including public transit ridership, to gauge the recovery around the globe.
  • The public transit dataset covers 105 cities in 32 countries and regions and shows ridership levels relative to early January.



Who is winning the streaming video race? 

Peacock debuted as the No. 1 most-downloaded video app on iPads in the US, though it quickly fell in the rankings. Disney+ and Netflix remain the leaders. 

  • UBS Evidence Lab looks at app download share and rankings for thousands of mobile applications in the iOS and Google Play store across more than 50 countries/regions.
  • This data can help assess which internet TV services are most popular over time and relative to competitors.

US Internet TV App Download Rankings (iPad)

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Sensor Tower

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

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



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.

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


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

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.