Gross domestic product in the 3rd quarter 2012

Bern, 29.11.2012 - The real gross domestic product (GDP) for Switzerland increased in the third quarter 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 GDP. By 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%.

Private consumption progressed by 0.1%. There was a sharp rise in spending on healthcare as well as in the communication category. By contrast, spending on foods and drink, clothing and shoes as well as in the home and transport categories was lower. Government consumption and spending on social security increased by 1.7%.

Gross fixed investments fell by 0.5%. The reduction was mainly attributable to investment in equipment which fell by 1.2%. The metal industry and vehicle manufacturing in particular made negative contributions to growth. By contrast, investment in construction continued to grow (+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. Also other categories, although with a lower share of total exports (amongst others metals, vehicles and energy exports) experienced increasing export volumes. By contrast, there was 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 jewelry was particularly strong, whilst imports of chemicals, machinery and electronics reported a slight fall. By contrast, vehicle imports showed  negative growth. 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% resp. +2.1%) 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 deflator for the gross domestic product increased by 0.3% by comparison with the 3rd quarter 2011 after having fallen slightly in the previous three quarters. The reduction in prices for equipment, which have been falling for more than three years, continued in the 3rd quarter (-2.7%). The price index for investments in construction rose slightly by 0.3%. The downward trend in export and import prices over the last three years came to a halt in the 3rd quarter. Export prices rose by 0.9%, the first positive value since the 2nd quarter 2009. Import prices also showed another positive performance compared with the previous year (+1.3%), the first since the 4th quarter 2008.

* 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“.

Address for enquiries

Eric Scheidegger, SECO, Head of the Economic Policy Directorate,
Tel. +41 (31) 322 29 59
Bruno Parnisari, SECO, Head of Short-Term Economic Analyses,
Economic Policy Directorate, Tel. +41 (31) 323 16 81


State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

Last modification 14.05.2024

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