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Switzerland Posts Positive Q3 GDP Growth

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

10 December 2012


According to the Swiss Federal Department of Finance, real gross domestic product (GDP) for Switzerland increased in the third quarter of 2012 by 0.6% compared with the second quarter of 2012, with private and public consumption and the balance of trade in goods contributing towards the growth.

In contrast, the export of services and fixed investments had a negative impact. On the production side most sectors of the economy reported an increase in their value-added in the third quarter, with industry posting a relatively marked rise. Compared with the third quarter 2011, Swiss GDP grew by 1.4%.

Gross fixed investments fell by 0.5%, mainly attributable to investment in equipment, which fell by 1.2%. The metal industry and vehicle manufacturing in particular made negative contributions to growth. Investment in construction continued to grow, however (+0.3%).

The export of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of arts and antiques) increased by 2.3% in the third quarter 2012. The export of chemicals and related products made a significant contribution to this result. Other categories, with a lower share of total exports (amongst others metals, vehicles and energy exports) experienced increasing export volumes. There was nevertheless a slight fall in exports of precision instruments, watches and jewellery as well as of the machinery and electronics industry. Exports of services continued to recede in the third quarter, falling by a further 1.4%.

The import of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of art and antiques) rose by 0.8% in the third quarter 2012. Growth in the import of precision instruments, watches and jewellery was particularly strong, whilst imports of chemicals, machinery and electronics reported a slight fall. Vehicle imports showed negative growth and the import of services shrank by 1.9%.

On the production side, most areas of the economy reported positive growth rates in their value-added. The processing industry in particular posted a relatively marked increase (+1.2%), thanks to a robust performance in the pharmaceuticals industry. The financial and insurance services sectors (+1.0% and +2.1% respectively) also made a positive contribution to the growth in GDP, as did the information and communication sector.

The healthcare and social services category also reported an increase in value-added (+2.1%). By contrast, the transport (-0.5%), construction (-0.1%) and hospitality and hotel categories sectors (-0.3%) all reported negative growth rates.

The downward trend in export and import prices over the last three years came to a halt in the third quarter, with export prices rising by 0.9%, the first positive value since the second quarter 2009. Import prices also showed another positive performance compared with the previous year (+1.3%), the first since the fourth quarter 2008.

TAGS: Finance | investment | energy | insurance | gross domestic product (GDP) | manufacturing | Switzerland | construction | trade | services

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