Gross domestic product in 4th quarter 2013
Bern, 27.02.2014 - In the 4th quarter 2013 Switzerland’s real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.2% compared to the 3rd quarter*. On the expenditure side, positive contributions to growth in GDP came in particular from consumption and gross fixed investments, whilst the balance of trade in goods and services had a negative impact. On the production side of the GDP, the main contribution to GDP-growth came from the wholesale sector. Compared to the same quarter of previous year (4th quarter 2012), GDP increased by 1.7%. First estimates for the whole year – based on the quarterly data – show GDP growth of 2.0% for 2013 after 1.0% in 2012.
In the 4rd quarter 2013 household consumption expenditure and that of non-profit organisations (NPOs) increased by 0.7%. Following a somewhat weaker 3rd quarter, virtually all aspects of consumption made a positive contribution to the expansion in the 4th quarter. General government and social security consumption expenditure reported growth of 0.6%.
Gross fixed investments rose by 1.5% in the 4th quarter 2013. Investments in equipment as well as investments in construction both also grew by 1.5% respectively. The strong rise in investments in equipment was mainly driven by the subsector “vehicles”. However, investments in IT services and machinery also reported positive growth rates.
Following a marked increase in the 3rd quarter, exports of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of art and antiques) decreased by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. The development in the 4th quarter was due in particular to a decrease in chemical and pharmaceutical products, whilst the other categories remained almost unchanged.
By contrast, imports of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of art and antiques) rose by 1.4% in the 4th quarter. The main contributions to growth came from imports of chemical and pharmaceutical products, as well as from machinery/electronics. Vehicle imports also reported positive growth, whilst the only subsection precision instruments/watches/jewellery posted a decrease.
In the services sector, tourism exports (consumption by foreign tourists in Switzerland) increased by 0.4% in the 4th quarter 2013. Imports of tourism services (spending on tourism abroad) also increased in the 4th quarter (+1.0%). In addition, the remaining exports (+3.5%) as well as imports of services (+9.8%) reported marked growth.
On the production side most of the categories reported a small increase in value-added, with the domestic-orientated sectors such as construction, healthcare and wholesale performing significantly better than the export-orientated sectors such as, in particular, industry but also financial services.
The Gross Domestic Product deflator remained unchanged (at 0.0%) compared with the 4th quarter 2012. Prices for household consumption expenditure fell further (-0.3%). Prices for machinery and equipment have been falling since the 2nd quarter 2009; this trend continued up to the end of 2013 (-0.4% in the 4th quarter). By contrast, the deflator for investments in construction showed a positive growth (+0.7%). Export prices rose only marginally during the 4th quarter (+0.1%), while import prices reported a stronger increase (0.5%).
Initial provisional results for the year 2013
The results of the quarterly assessments for the year 2013 give an initial, provisional growth in GDP of 2.0% at constant prices for the previous year and 1.9% at current prices.
On the expenditure side of the GDP, as in the previous year 2012, private consumption was the main contributor to GDP growth (1.3 percentage points). Investments in construction also contributed positively to the rise in GDP (0.3 percentage points). By contrast, the balance of trade in goods and services made only a marginal contribution to GDP growth (+0.1 percentage points).
This initial estimate of the annual data for 2013, as part of the quarterly national accounts, is carried out in accordance with ESVG 95 (European System of National Accounts on the national and regional level, 1995). The FSO (Swiss Federal Statistical Office) will not be computing any annual data for national accounts in accordance with ESVG 95 for the year 2013. This is due to the task of converting to the new ESVG 2010. By the end of September 2014 the FSO will be publishing the results of the Swiss national accounts in accordance with ESVG 2010, with new annual data for the whole period from 1995 up to and including 2013. The SECO will also publish the quarterly data adjusted for the new concept of ESVG 2010 (first quarter 1995 to second quarter 2014).
*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”. The comments on the development of the price indices are based on the changes over the previous year in the non-seasonally-adjusted data.
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