Zurich, 31 January 2018 – The consumption indicator fell slightly in December 2017 to 1.69 points from 1.73. However, values had been revised upward in the past few months.

An improvement in retail business and an increase in the number of overnight stays since the weakening of the Swiss franc in the summer of last year supported the consumption indicator. By contrast, the fall in the number of new car registrations in comparison to the same month last year had a negative impact. The 12% drop is considerably above the long-term average.

For the current year, the UBS Chief Investment Office Wealth Management (UBS CIO) expects solid economic growth that will be partly supported by private consumption. However, the UBS CIO anticipates weaker growth in private consumption than the indicator shows. For this year, UBS economists expect consumption growth of 1.4%. Falling unemployment and the solid economic trend should support private consumption. As the expected nominal wage increase is only slightly above the inflation rate of 0.6%, the real wage increase will likely dampen private consumption.

Sources: Seco, UBS

UBS Switzerland AG

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Sibille Duss, UBS Chief Investment Office WM
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UBS publications and forecasts for Switzerland: www.ubs.com/cio-swiss-views