Swiss Economy Grows 0.4% in Q1

Swiss GDP expanded 0.4% in Q1 2010, disappointing on market expectations of 0.7% growth. Last quarter's growth was revised from 0.9% to 0.7%. This brings annualized GDP figures to 2.2% for Q1 2010, up from prior quarter's 0.6% and above market expectations of 1.8% expansion this quarter.

A breakdown of data showed that final consumption expenditure rose at a slower pace of 0.2% compared with the fourth quarter's 0.6% growth, of which expenditure by households and non-profit institutions increased 0.5%, while general government expenditure dropped 1.4%, the first fall in four quarters. SECO said food and beverages, telecommunications, housing services and energy consumption, in particular, as well as expenditures for hotels and restaurants contributed to the growth in private consumption expenditure.

Gross fixed capital formation declined 0.8% following 1.4% growth in the fourth quarter. Investment in fixed assets and software and construction fell 0.8% each.

Final domestic demand, which do not include changes in inventories and net-imports of valuables such as precious metals, jewellery, objects of art and antiquities, was flat after 0.8% growth in the final quarter of last year. Domestic demand fell at a faster pace of 1.2% compared with 0.2% decline in the fourth quarter.

Foreign trade gave significant boost to the Swiss economy in the first quarter. Exports of goods and services grew 4.8%, faster than the 2.2% rise in the fourth quarter. Overseas sale of goods climbed 5.6% and those of services grew 2.9%. Similarly, growth in imports of goods and services accelerated to 2.5% from 0.4%, of which imports of goods were up 3.1% and that of services grew 0.1%.

Compared to the corresponding quarter last year, the GDP deflator dropped 0.2%. After three negative quarters in a row, the consumption deflator was able to move upward again by 0.4%. While prices for plant and equipment spending declined once again by 2.4%, those for building investments rose slightly by 0.1%. Export prices were 3% below the respective figure of the previous year, and import prices dropped by 1.5%.

Swiss Economy Grows 0.4% in Q1, RTT News
6/1/2010 9:55:06 AM