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UBS's consumption indicator points to subdued growth

Zurich Media Switzerland

UBS consumption indicator printed 1.38 in June, pointing to subdued growth in Swiss private consumption in recent months. Relatively weak growth in employment was much to blame for the lackluster number, however this was offset somewhat by robust new car registrations data and overnight hotel stays by Swiss nationals.

Zurich, 26 July 2017 – The UBS consumption indicator stood at 1.38 points in June, pointing to subdued growth in consumption at the end of the second quarter. The May figure was revised downwards slightly to 1.32.

UBS's consumption indicator has been hit by weak growth in Swiss employment in recent quarters. Indeed, across the last five quarters, data suggests employment has all but stagnated. Since 2000, the annual growth in employment has been 1.1 percent. We expect employment growth rates to pick up during the course of the year, which should support consumption. Somewhat offsetting weak employment data, new car registrations rose 2.1 percent year-on-year in June. Additionally, most recent available data reveals that hotel overnight stays by Swiss nationals increased by 2.4 percent year-on-year. The mood also improved in the retail sector, although it started from a low base.

The UBS consumption indicator aligns with the forecasts issued by UBS's Chief Investment Office Wealth Management, which forecasts private household consumption will grow by 1.3 percent in 2017. This value is slightly below the long-term average of 1.5 percent.

UBS Consumption Indicator Switzerland

Sources: Seco, UBS

UBS Switzerland AG


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