Gross domestic product in 1st quarter 2014
Bern, 28.05.2014 - In the 1st quarter 2014 Switzerland’s real gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.5% compared to the previous quarter*. On the expenditure side, positive contributions to GDP growth came in particular from the balance of trade in goods and services as well as investments in construction. On the production side (development of value added by sector) the main contributions to GDP growth came from industry, the wholesale sector and financial services, leading to a rise in GDP of 2.0% compared with the 1st quarter 2013.
In the 1st quarter 2014 household consumption expenditure and that of non-profit or-ganisations (NPOs) increased by 0.1%. In particular, consumption expenditures linked to housing and transport services delivered negative contributions. General government and social security consumption expenditure was lower in the 1st quarter 2014, down by -0.8% compared with the previous quarter.
Gross fixed investments rose by 0.5%. After a lengthy period of subdued development, investments in equipment contracted again (-1.5%). This development was driven by weak investment across many sectors, with the exception of the “data processing equipment, elec-tronic and optical product manufacturing” and “IT services” sectors, where an increase was registered. By contrast, investments in construction which benefitted from the mild winter, made a strong, positive contribution to growth (as they did in the previous two quarters), posting a rise of 2.7%.
Exports of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of art and antiques) increased by 2.0%. This increase was driven in particular by exports of chemi-cal/pharmaceutical products and vehicles. The remaining categories, such as machin-ery/electronics and precision instruments/watches/jewellery amongst others, reported a slight decrease. Imports of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of art and antiques) were lower (-0.8%). The reduction was mainly attributable to ma-chinery/electronics as well as energy imports. There was also a reduction in imports of chem-ical/pharmaceutical products and precision instruments/watches/jewellery.
Exports of services (includes tourism) reported an increase (+1.3%). After posting a strong performance in the previous quarter, imports of services recorded a fall (-1.3%).
On the production side the manufacturing industry, the wholesale sector and financial services delivered the strongest, positive contributions to GDP growth in the 1st quarter 2014. By contrast, the sectors “energy and water supply”, “Accommodation and food service activities”, “Real estate activities, professional, scientific and technical activities” as well as “public administration” all posted a reduction in their value added.
The Gross Domestic Product deflator increased by 0.1% compared with the 1st quarter 2013. The deflator for private household consumption has now been falling for ten quarters: in the 1st quarter it reduced by 0.2% (compared to the previous quarter). Prices for investments in equipment have also been falling for several quarters and this trend continued (deflator -0.2%). By contrast, the prices for investments in construction increased by 0.8%. Export prices reduced by -0.5%, whilst import prices stagnated (0.0%)**.
*Unless stated otherwise the percentage changes over the previous year, listed here (not annualized) are calculated from seasonally and price adjusted figures. "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.
**Our comments on export and import prices are related to the aggregate “exports (or imports) of goods and services, excluding precious metals, jewellery and works of art and antiques”.
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