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UBS consumption indicator: Higher expectations in the retail industry
The UBS consumption indicator rose to 1.56 points in September, signalling consumption growth slightly above the long-term average. The indicator was supported by significantly higher expectations in the retail industry, but UBS still projects consumer spending to grow 1.3 percent for the year overall.
Zurich, 25 October 2017 – In September the UBS consumption indicator reached 1.56 points, while the August figure was revised slightly lower to 1.50. The consumption indicator currently shows slightly higher consumption growth than was forecast for the year overall by UBS Chief Investment Office Wealth Management. Due to weak employment growth in the first six months and the rise in inflation, consumption is only expected to increase 1.3 percent this year.
The indicator reflected improved expectations in the retail industry in September. The estimate for the business climate in the retail industry from the ETH Zurich Swiss Economic Institute crept into positive territory for the first time since January 2015. On average, expectations have been at -9 points since the Swiss franc's exchange rate floor against the euro was abolished. Thanks to the franc's devaluation against the euro in the last few months, the price competitiveness of Swiss retailers has improved, which has in turn boosted the mood of retailers.
Otherwise, no clear trend is recognizable for the indicator's other components. While the number of hotel stays by Swiss guests in the figures published in August was 1 percent higher than in the previous year, new registrations for passenger cars fell 6 percent in September.
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Alessandro Bee, UBS Chief Investment Office WM
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