Gross domestic product in 1st quarter 2013
Bern, 30.05.2013 - Switzerland’s real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.6% in the 1st quarter 2013 compared to the previous quarter*. Positive contributions to growth came from private consumption, investments in construction and from the trade balance, whilst investments in machinery and equipment by contrast decreased. Value added on the production side increased in a number of sectors during the 1st quarter; particularly in the areas of industry, the construction and financial sectors and in some non-financial private and public-sector services. Real GDP rose by 1.1% compared with the 1st quarter 2012.
Private consumption increased in the 1st quarter 2013 by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter. The biggest contributions to growth came from the spending for healthcare and housing. General government consumption reduced by 0.9% in the 1st quarter 2013.
Gross fixed investments decreased by 0.3% in the 1st quarter 2013. Increasing investments in construction (+0.3%) were offset by falling investments in machinery and equipment (-0.8%).
The export of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of art and antiques) shrank by 0.2% in the 1st quarter 2013. However, this development was significantly influenced by a special effect, namely the adjustment of the systematic of exports concerning electricity (excluding this adjustment, exports of goods would have reported a positive performance in the 1st quarter 2013 of +1.4%)**. Positive boost to growth came from exports of chemicals and pharmaceutical products as well as precision instruments, watches and jewellery. All other categories stagnated or slightly decreased.
The import of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of art and antiques) was also influenced by the introduction of the new system of international elec-tricity trading. Imports of goods reduced by 2.1% (excluding the impact of this modification in the Swiss trading data, the reduction of total goods imports would have been smaller: -0,9%).
The services sector reported a reduction in both exports as well as imports. Revenues from tourism (tourism exports) decreased by 1.4% and the export of other services also posted a negative performance (-0.3%). Tourism imports services were 1.2 % lower than in the previ-ous quarter. Other imports of services also decreased, by -1.9%.
On the production side, a number of economic sectors contributed positively to GDP growth in the 1st quarter. Following a reduction in the 4th quarter 2012, value added in the industry sector posted a slight increase during the 1st quarter (+0.3%). The construction sector regis-tered a relatively strong rise in value added (+2.5%). Many non-financial private and public sector services – with the exception of the hospitality sector which reported a fall in value added – registered an increase in value added. This was particularly pronounced in the area of healthcare and social security (+2%). There was also an increase in value added in finan-cial (1.2%) and insurance services (+1.4%). By contrast, the areas of trade, accommodation, transport and information services (-0.1%) contributed negatively to GDP growth.
The Gross Domestic Product deflator increased by 0.1% compared to the 1st quarter 2012. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the private consumption deflator has fallen since the 4th quarter 2011; in the 1st quarter 2013 the fall was 0.6%. Since the 2nd quar-ter 2009 prices for investments in machinery and equipment have continually fallen; in the 1st quarter 2013 they reduced by 1.1%. The deflator for investments in construction increased in the 1st quarter 2013 by 0.2%. Following a lengthy period of falling export and import prices between mid-2009 and mid-2012, export prices have risen slightly during the last three quar-ters. The deflator for exports rose by 0.5% in the 1st quarter 2013, that one for imports by 1.3%.
*Unless stated otherwise the percentage changes over the previous year, listed here are calculated from seasonally and price adjusted figures (not annualized). "Real" is used as an abbreviation for the formulation "data at previous year prices, quarterly chained series with reference year 2005”. The official terminology also uses the phrase “volume changes in GDP“.
**The impact of this modification in the systematic of electricity trade on the results of the quarterly accounts is explained in a Technical Note (available in French and German), see :
http://www.seco.admin.ch/themen/00374/00456/00458/index.html?lang=de (Section:„Technische Notiz“).
For more information on this modification see the press release of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE):
This modification in Swiss trade Statistics has no effect on the trade balance and therefore no impact on GDP growth.
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