Swiss economy – Private consumption picks up again after three weak quarters – News

  • The Swiss economy grew slightly in the first quarter of 2023.
  • Domestic demand developed robustly. And as goods exports increased, industry also grew slightly.
  • Domestic final demand also developed positively. Above all, private consumption rose, while state consumption continued to stagnate.

The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) in the period from January to March 2023 was 0.3 percent, as reported by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco). The economy was still stagnating in the fourth quarter of last year.

Adjusted for the international sports events that are important for the Swiss economy, growth was even higher at 0.5 percent. The figure for the first quarter (unadjusted) is at the upper end of the estimates. Economists surveyed by AWP had expected GDP growth of between +0.1 and +0.3 percent.

Swiss people are increasingly traveling again

According to Seco, domestic final demand (+0.9%) grew faster than the historical average in the quarter under review. State consumption (+0.0%) stagnated, but private consumption (+0.6%) rose substantially. The population spent more on services in particular. Supported by the further recovery in travel activity, the added value in the transport and communication sector (+0.7%) and in the hospitality industry (+1.0%) has risen above average, according to Seco.

Meanwhile, consumer spending on goods was more subdued. Accordingly, value added in the retail trade (-0.4%) fell slightly, albeit from a high level.

Trade and industry also increased slightly

According to Seco, investment activity also contributed to the solid development of domestic demand. Investments in equipment (+2.6%) increased significantly, with the main contributors being research and development and vehicles. Investments in construction (-0.1%), on the other hand, developed slightly negatively.

After three negative quarters in a row, value added in industry and manufacturing (+0.3%) increased again slightly. According to the information, the chemical-pharmaceutical industry recorded a decline at a high level (-0.6%), but value added increased in the other industrial sectors.

The contribution of foreign trade to GDP growth was meanwhile slightly negative on balance, which is mainly due to significantly higher imports.

source site-72