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An indicator of the consumption habit among Swiss households declined marginally in July as an increase in new car registrations was largely balanced by gloomier consumer sentiment and weaker retail sales, survey data released by the UBS showed Wednesday.
The UBS consumption indicator was at 1.41 in July, little changed from June's score of 1.44. The index continues the trend that has been ongoing since April.
The index was influenced by a 14.4 percent month-on-month increase in new car sales, and a 5.3 percent gain on an annual basis.
The positive contribution from car sales was offset by a further deterioration of business situation in the retail industry as falling prices continued to squeeze retailers' profit margins.
At the same time, consumer sentiment cooled slightly in the third quarter, with the corresponding index staying just marginally above its historical average.
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