Gross domestic product in 2nd quarter 2012

Bern, 04.09.2012 - The real gross domestic product (GDP) for Switzerland fell in the 2nd quarter of 2012 by 0.1%* compared with the 1st quarter 2012. The export of goods and services delivered a negative contribution to GDP growth. By contrast, private and public consumption contributed positively to growth. On the production side there was a reduction in value-added in the industry and trade sectors as well as in those associated with the delivery of financial services. This led to a 0.5% rise in GDP compared with the 2nd quarter 2011.

Private consumption grew by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Spending on housing, water, power, gas and other fuels, healthcare as well as transport all made a key contribution towards this growth. Government consumption and spending on social security expanded at a relatively strong rate of 1.0%.

Gross fixed investments stagnated in the 2nd quarter. As a result of the cold spell in February investment in construction was down in the 1st quarter due to the weather condi-tions. This was partially recouped in the 2nd quarter. Investment in construction rose by 1.0% compared with the previous quarter. By contrast, investment in equipment fell by 0.9% compared with the 1st quarter. The machine industry and other vehicles made significant negative contributions to growth. Whilst aircraft imports had a very positive impact on investment in equipment in the 1st quarter, they made a correspondingly negative contribution in the 2nd quarter.

The export of goods (excluding precious metals, jewelry and gems as well as works of art and antiques) reduced by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. This negative trend was seen across a majority of the sectors. Exports of chemicals and related products, machinery, equipment and electronics all reported a negative development. The only positive growth came from the export of precision instruments, watches and vehicles. There was also a reduction in the export of services which fell by 0.9%.

The import of goods (excluding precious metals, jewelry and gems as well as works of art and antiques) reported a reduction of 0.5%. This is primarily attributable to vehicle imports. Imports of chemicals and related products, as well as of machinery, equipment and electronics posted an increase. The import of services grew by 1.8%.

On the production site there was a fall in value-added particularly in the industry (-1.1%) and trade (-0.7%) sectors as well as those associated with the delivery of financial services (-0.8%). The value-added in the construction sector (+1.5%), those associated with the  delivery of professional, scientific and technical activities (including real estate activities) (+0.5%), the value added in the public sector (+0.7%) as well as in healthcare and social services (+0.2%) all reported positive growth.
The deflator for the gross domestic product reduced by 0.1% compared with the 2nd quarter 2011. There was also a reduction in the deflator for private consumption (-0.6%). As in the previous twelve quarters, prices for investments in equipment also fell in the 2nd quarter 2012 (-3.3%). Export prices (-0.7%) as well as import prices (-1.1%) were also lower.

Revision of the QNA (Quarterly National Accounts) in summer 2012
The National Accounts (NA) for Switzerland were revised in 2012. The revision of the annual data was carried out by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO) and focused primarily on the integration of the new statistical classification of economic activities NOGA 2008, the adoption of updated data from revised statistics, as well as the adaptation of a number of methods used for calculations**. The revision of the NA led to a retropolation of annual data for the period 1990-2010. The QNA were adjusted accordingly in the summer. In particular Gross domestic product (GDP) by industry, which provide detailed information (value added estimates) about specific industries, was adjusted on the basis of the new NOGA classification. For some aggregates on the expenditure side of GDP new quarterly indicators were introduced during the summer 2012. Further details on the adjustments are to be taken from a Technical Note***.

* Unless stated otherwise, the percentage changes over the previous quarter shown here are calculated from seasonally and price adjusted figures (not annualized). In this context „real“ is used as an abbreviation for the formulation „data at previous year prices, quarterly chained series with reference year 2005“.

** SFSO Press release from 29.06.2012, Volkswirtschaftliche Gesamtrechnung der Schweiz 2010, Revidierte Daten für die Analyse der makroökonomischen Lage der Schweiz: 

***  GDP Quarterly Estimates: Technical Note dated September 4, 2012

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