Switzerland's consumption indicator remained broadly unchanged in October but suggested that private spending is growing at a solid pace in the fourth quarter, the UBS investment bank said Wednesday. The indicator inched up to 1.54 points in October from revised 1.51 in September.
New passenger car registrations and domestic tourism improved in October. By contrast, the index of consumer confidence measured by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs stagnated. In October it was -2 points, virtually unchanged from the previous quarter's -3.
Although consumers assess the labor market more positively, expectations with regard to the general economic situation have become slightly gloomier.
UBS projected growth in private consumption at 1.3 percent both for this year and for next, marginally below its long-term average.
The weaker Swiss franc is benefiting Swiss retailers indirectly by making shopping outside the country more expensive for consumers. The economy is also likely to be buoyed in the coming year due by Europe's strong economic showing, the bank said.
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.
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