Switzerland's private consumption growth continued to remain around its long-term average, survey data from the UBS investment bank showed Wednesday.
The UBS Consumption Indicator stood at 1.50 in March, and the February figure was revised downwards slightly to 1.45. Following strong growth at the beginning of the year (5.5%), domestic tourism fell by 0.8% in February compared with the same month in the previous year. Consumption was driven by solid automotive demand: new car registrations grew 4.8%.
The bank said pessimism still prevails in retail. It seems that the hoped-for adjustment by the retail sector to the new exchange rate realities is only taking place very slowly, the bank said.
UBS predicts GDP growth for the Swiss economy of 1.4% in the current year. Even if economic growth is not likely to rise much, it should be more broad-based than last year. UBS economists are expecting solid consumption growth. A slight fall in Swiss unemployment should support consumption, whereas the increase in inflation will exert a braking effect as rising consumer prices will lead to lower growth in real income. the bank said in the press release.
The UBS Consumption Indicator is a leading indicator of private consumption trends. This indicator is a combined reading of five indicators, including consumer confidence, consumer spending, tourism, new car sales, and retail activity. With the exception of the consumer sentiment index and employment figures, all of this data is available monthly.
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