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The UBS Consumption Indicator rose to 1.53 points in August from 1.45. Tourism accounted for much: The 1.6 % increase in overnight hotel stays compared with the previous year indicates that summer tourism took off after all. Meanwhile, the Swiss car market has maintained a pleasantly high level. New vehicle registrations in August were above the corresponding monthly average since the start of the millennium.
In spite of this positive trend, however, there is still no reason for euphoria, because the situation on the labor market is rather ambivalent. Second-quarter employment figures did indeed record a slight rise over the previous quarter, but they fell compared with the previous year. The uncertainty on the labor market could restrain a more dynamic trend in consumer sentiment in the coming months. The Swiss economy can in fact look back on a respectable growth figure of 1% in the first half of the year. But until this growth is reflected on the labor market, private consumption will probably show no great improvement either.
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