Investor sentiment remained positive in the first quarter of 2021, helped by the strong rebound in economic activity and greater optimism regarding the further recovery, supported by mass COVID-19 vaccination campaigns around the globe. Significant fiscal stimulus, notably in the US, along with the prospect of continued accommodative monetary policy, contributed to generally more positive views on the timing and extent of a sustainable economic recovery.
However, economic, social, and geopolitical tensions remain, raising questions around the sustainability and shape of the recovery. Persistently high numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, as well as lockdowns and similar measures imposed to control the pandemic, add to these existing concerns, as well as the severity and duration of the effects of the pandemic in certain economic sectors.
Our clients value strength and expert guidance, particularly in these uncertain times, and we remain focused on supporting them with advice and solutions. We expect our revenues in the second quarter of 2021 to be influenced by seasonal factors, such as lower client activity compared with the first quarter of 2021. Higher asset prices should have a positive effect on recurring fee income in our asset gathering businesses. However, the continued uncertainty about the environment and economic recovery could affect both asset prices and client activity.
With our balance sheet for all seasons and our diversified business model, UBS remains well positioned to drive sustainable long-term value for our clients and shareholders.
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