Gross domestic product in 1st quarter 2015
Bern, 29.05.2015 - Switzerland’s real gross domestic product (GDP) in the 1st quarter 2015 fell by 0.2%*. The trade balance in goods and services in particular delivered negative growth contributions. Positive development of gross investments and household consumption prevented a larger decline in GDP. On the production side, many categories reported a significant slowdown in growth. A decline in value added was registered for the trading and accommodation sectors. The GDP deflator fell by 0.9% compared to the 1st quarter 2014, whilst real GDP increased by 1.1% on a year-a-year basis.
Household consumption expenditure and that of non-profit organisations (NPOs) increased by 0.5%. The largest contributions to growth came from the categories of housing, energy and health. General government consumption expenditure and social security consumption increased slightly by 0.1%.
Investments in equipment (including research & development and military investments) continued to grow, rising by 0.5%. The growth was driven by investment in computer and software as well as vehicles, whilst investment in machinery was lower. Investments in construction increased by 0.3%.
Exports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold, valuables and merchanting) were down in the 1st quarter 2015 (-2.3%). Virtually all sectors contributed to the decline. A significant negative contribution came from the category of chemicals/pharmaceuticals. The categories of machinery/equipment/electronics as well as precision tools/watches/jewellery also reported a fall.
Imports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold and valuables) rose by 0.4%, with vehicle imports delivering a strong positive contribution. Imports of chemical and pharmaceutical products showed small, positive growth rates. The other categories reported a decline, in particular the precision tools/watches/jewellery category.
Exports of services (including tourism) rose by 3.0% in the 1st quarter 2015. Imports of services (including tourism) posted a sharp rise of 7.5%.
Many categories on the production side reported a marked slowdown. The negative growth in GDP was driven in particular by the trading sector (-1.9%) and accommodation (-3.8%) sectors. The manufacturing industry (- 0.1%) also failed to provide any further impetus to growth. Furthermore, the sector Transportation/Information/Communication (-0.4%) and the finance sector (-0.6%) experienced a downturn as well. Only the healthcare sector (+1.6%) and the construction industry (+1.1%) delivered a clearly positive performance. Some services for the domestic market continued to expand in the first quarter.
Nearly all prices on the consumption side of the GDP were lower, with the exception of those for government consumption. The deflator for private household consumption was down by 0.6%, prices for investments in construction by 0.4% and those for investments in equipment by 1.8%. There was a particularly marked fall in export and import prices in the 1st quarter: the deflator for exports of goods and services (excluding non-monetary gold and other valuables) reduced by 2.5% and that for imports (comparable aggregate) by 5.8%. The GDP deflator registered a fall of 0.9%.
*The percentage changes over the previous quarter listed here (quarter-on-quarter growth rates) are not annualized and are based on price-adjusted, seasonal and calendar adjusted data (with X-13ARIMA-SEATS). “Real” is used as an abbreviation for the formulation “data at previous year prices, quarterly chained series with reference year 2010”. For the price developments, changes in the original quarterly figures (before seasonal and calendar adjustments) over the previous year (year-on-year growth rates) are commented on.
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