Gross domestic product in 3rd quarter 2015

Bern, 01.12.2015 - Switzerland’s real gross domestic product (GDP) stagnated in the 3rd quarter 2015 (0.0%)*. Positive contributions to GDP came from private (household) and public consumption. The balance of trade in goods** also contributed positively to GDP, whilst the balance of trade in services by contrast had a negative impact. On the production side healthcare and the insurance sector experienced the strongest growth. GDP grew by 0.8% compared with the 3rd quarter 2014; the GDP deflator (implicit price index) reduced by 1.2% in the same period.

Household consumption expenditure and that of non-profit organisations (NPOs) reported a relatively largely sustained growth of 0.4% in the 3rd quarter. The greatest contribution to growth came from healthcare, followed by the categories of transport, housing and energy. With the exception of clothing and shoes, various sub-categories evolved positively. General government consumption increased by 1.8% in the 3rd quarter.

Investments in equipment reported a further small rise in the 3rd quarter 2015 (+0.2%), whilst investments in construction showed a clear reduction (-0.9%).

Exports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold, valuables and merchanting) increased by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter. However, this growth was solely driven by the dynamic of chemical and pharmaceutical exports. The remaining categories were for the most part lower, including in particular exports of watches, jewellery and precision tools. Imports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold and valuables) stagnated in the 3rd quarter 2015. A small positive boost came from imports of machinery. On the other hand, energy imports declined. Exports of services were 0.3% lower compared with the previous quarter, whilst imports of services rose by 0.6%.

According to the production approach, GDP growth was held back by the weak performance of the energy sector (-5.3%), the construction sector (-1.0%), the financial sector (-1.0%) as well as trading (-0.9%). The growth in healthcare and social work activities (+1.1%), insurance services (+0.6%), other services (+0.4%), manufacturing (+0.3%) and public administration (+0.3%) had by contrast a stimulating effect.
With the exception of government consumption, nearly all prices on the expenditure side of GDP continued to decrease. The deflator for private household consumption reduced by 1.2% compared with the 3rd quarter 2014, prices for investments in equipment by 2.8% and those for investments in construction by 0.6%. The reduction in export and import prices was particularly marked: the deflator for exports of goods and services (aggregate, excluding non-monetary gold and other valuables) fell by 4.9% whilst that for imports (comparable aggregate) by 8.0%. The deflator for GDP registered a reduction of 1.2%.

The Quarterly National Accounts are published approximately 60 days after the end of the respective quarter and provide the first official estimate of the Swiss GDP and its components. The quarterly figures are based upon incomplete data and are therefore subject to revisions. An additional uncertainty during the 3rd Quarter 2015 for GDP estimates stems from the revision of the Job Statistics and the absence of these data for the 3rd quarter of 2015.

*Unless stated otherwise the percentage changes over the previous quarter listed here (not annualized) are calculated on the basis of chained series, price, seasonal and calendar adjusted values (X-13ARIMA-SEATS is used for seasonal adjustment). "Real" is used as an abbreviation for the formulation "data at previous year prices, quarterly chained series with reference year 2010”. The official terminology also uses the phrase “volume changes”. The comparisons with the previous year which are used in particular for the comments on the development of the price indices are based on the changes in the original figures over the previous year (before seasonal and calendar adjustments).

**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 but do not physically cross the Swiss border.

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Last modification 14.05.2024

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