Gross domestic product in the 2nd quarter of 2015

Bern, 28.08.2015 - Switzerland’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.2% in the 2nd quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter*. The balance of trade in goods** made a positive contribution to GDP growth because imports fell more than exports; on the other hand, the balance of trade in services had a negative impact. Consumption expenditure by private households and government together with investments also provided support for GDP growth in the 2nd quarter of 2015. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2014, GDP grew by 1.2%; the GDP deflator decreased in the same period by 1.1%.

A small 0.3% increase in consumption expenditure by households and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs) was reported in the 2nd quarter. The categories of food products and beverages, healthcare, garments and footwear, communications, transport as well as leisure and culture, all made positive contributions. On the other hand, spending on housing and energy, restaurants and hotels declined. General government consumption expenditure increased by 0.2% in the 2nd quarter.

Investments in capital goods (including research and development and military expenditure) (+1.5%) and investments in the construction sector (+0.1%) rose in the 2nd quarter after falling in the first.

Exports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold, valuables and merchanting) increased slightly (+0.5%) in the 2nd quarter after they declined in the first three months of the year. Positive contributions were made by watchmaking, jewellery and precision instruments as well as by the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Imports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold and valuables) fell by 3.6%; such a considerable decline for this category in one quarter is uncommon. Exports of services rose by 0.9% and imports by 3.0%.

On the production side, value added rose slightly in the manufacturing industry (+0.8%) after falling in the first quarter. Value added also increased in the energy sector (+2.2%), transport and communication (+0.3%), other services (+0.4%) and in the public administration (+0.4%). On the other hand, value added declined in the wholesale and retail trade (-0.4%) and in the financial sector (-2.4%).

In the year 2014 implicit price indices (deflators) measured within the national accounts have posted negative trends. This decline has continued in the 2nd quarter of 2015. The GDP deflator was 1.1% lower (compared with the 2nd quarter of 2014). The private consumption deflator decreased by 1.0%. The -2.9% fall in capital goods prices is the highest since the end of 2009, when the price decline in this category started. The export deflator (goods and services excluding valuables) fell by 4.5% and that of imports (goods and services excluding valuables) by 7.3%.

* * *

The national accounts of Switzerland were revised in Summer 2015. This is a regular revision of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO) taking place every year. The integration of new annual figures into the quarterly accounts has not led to any major changes in the interpretation of the components, except for two sectors. Construction investments were revised up-wards for the last two years. The expansion of value added in the financial sector was adjusted downwards in 2014. Furthermore, various implicit price indices were revised downwards for the year 2014.

*Unless otherwise indicated, the variations are calculated on the basis of corrected price data, seasonal variations and calendar effects (variations from one quarter to another are not annualised); the method used is that of the breakdown of ARIMA models into non-observable components, as proposed in X-13ARIMA-SEATS. The adjective “real” is used to replace the official formulation (“at the previous year’s prices in chained series, reference year 2010”). The official terminology also refers to the “trend in volume”. Comparisons on a “rolling annual basis”, used in this press release to comment on the trend of price indices, are based on variations of the gross data (before correction for seasonal variations and calendar effects) as compared to the same quarter in the previous year. 

**Since the revision of the national accounts to ESA 2010 in summer 2014 merchanting (commodity trading) is included in trade in goods and therefore in the balance of goods. Merchanting is defined as goods traded from Switzerland, which undergo a change in ownership, however it does not physically cross the Swiss border.

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Last modification 03.11.2023

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