Swiss Economy Grows More Than Expected in Q1

Switzerland’s gross domestic product expanded by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter. Positive contributions to growth came from private consumption, investments in construction and from the trade balance, whilst investments in machinery and equipment decreased.

Private consumption increased in the Q1 by 0.6 percent qoq. The biggest contributions to growth came from the spending in healthcare and housing. General government consumption decreased by 0.9 percent in Q1.

Gross fixed investments decreased by 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013. Increasing investments in construction (+0.3 percent) were offset by falling investments in machinery and equipment (-0.8 percent).

The export of goods shrank by 0.2 percent. However, this development was significantly influenced by a special effect, namely the adjustment of the systematic of exports concerning electricity (excluding this adjustment, exports of goods would have reported a positive performance in Q1 of +1.4 percent). 

Positive boost to growth came from exports of chemicals and pharmaceutical products as well as precision instruments, watches and jewellery. All other categories stagnated or slightly decreased. Imports of goods fell 2.1 percent (excluding the impact of the modification in the Swiss trading data, the reduction of total goods imports would have been smaller: -0.9 percent). 

Following a reduction in the 4th quarter of 2012, value added in the industry sector posted a slight increase during Q1 (+0.3 percent). The construction sector registered a relatively strong rise in value added (+2.5 percent). 

Many non-financial private and public sector services also registered an increase in value added. This was particularly pronounced in the area of healthcare and social security (+2 percent). There was also an increase in value added in financial (+1.2 percent) and insurance services (+1.4 percent). By contrast, the areas of trade, accommodation, transport and information services (-0.1 percent) contributed negatively to GDP growth.

Real GDP rose by 1.1 percent compared with the 1st quarter 2012.

Swiss Economy Grows More Than Expected in Q1

SECO | Nuno Fontes |
5/30/2013 10:03:36 AM