The Swiss consumption indicator by UBS shows improvements. The indicator is still distant from the highs in 2012. At the time stronger growth in Emerging Markets and the weaker franc helped the Swiss economy.
The UBS consumption indicator rose from 1.38 to 1.43 points in January and continues to signal solid growth in private consumption. Swiss consumers view the economic and financial situation with considerably more optimism than in the last quarter. New car registrations and domestic tourism have, however, fallen compared with the previous January.
Zurich, 1 March 2017 – Following a comprehensive data revision, the UBS consumption indicator climbed from 1.38 to 1.43 points in January. The rise owes to a clear improvement in consumer sentiment as the Consumer Sentiment Index published by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs climbed from -13 to -3 points. Compared with the previous year, new car registrations decreased 3.7%. At 48.9%, the share of new cars with four-wheel drive makes up the biggest proportion of the purchases, which may be due to the large amount of snow that fell in January. As expected, domestic tourism rose slightly from November to December, benefiting from Christmas business. But compared with the same month last year, the number of overnight hotel stays dropped 2.3%.
Private consumption vs. UBS Consumption Indicator
Swiss citizens view the general economic situation in their country as well as their own professional and financial position in the first quarter of this year, with considerably more optimism than before. Consumer sentiment has reached its highest value since July 2014. Thanks to declining unemployment, and for the first time since the franc shock in January 2015, labor market data is no longer rated pessimistically. There are few changes with respect to expected price behavior. UBS’s forecast of 0.4% inflation this year appears consistent with consumer sentiment. Overall, the consumer sentiment has brightened with regard to national economic developments. We nevertheless remain cautious about consumption this year. There is still too much uncertainty on the capital markets given the upcoming elections in France and the unpredictability of the Trump administration.
Switzerland Private Consumption and UBS Consumption Indicator, February 2017(see more posts on Switzerland Private Consumption, Switzerland UBS Consumption Indicator, )
How the UBS Consumption Indicator is calculated
The UBS Consumption Indicator signals private consumption trends in Switzerland with a lead time of one to three months on the official figures. At more than 50%, private consumption is by far the most important component of Swiss GDP. UBS calculates this leading indicator from six consumer-related parameters: new car registrations, business activity in the retail sector, the number of domestic overnight hotel stays by Swiss residents, the consumer sentiment index, employment figures and credit card transactions made via UBS at points of sale in Switzerland. With the exception of the consumer sentiment index and employment figures, all of this data is available monthly.
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