Gross domestic product in the 2nd quarter of 2019: economy weakens

Bern, 05.09.2019 - Switzerland’s GDP rose by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter of 2019, after increasing by 0.4% (revised) in the previous quarter.* The development of domestic and foreign demand was weak, as in other European countries, which had a particularly negative impact on the service sectors.

Private consumption (+0.3%) saw slightly below-average growth in the 2nd quarter, supported by expenditure for healthcare, housing and energy. Government consumption (+0.1%) increased only slightly. Investment in construction (–0.1%) provided no impetus, accordingly value added in construction (+0.1%) hardly rose at all. Finally, investment in equipment (–1.0%) recorded a quite substantial decline. Investment in machinery was reduced again in particular, as the uncertain environment is dampening companies’ investment activity.

Slowed by the generally weak domestic demand and slightly decreasing exports of services (–0.2%), significant service sectors lost momentum in the 2nd quarter. Value added in trade (–0.3%) decreased again after an encouraging start to the year. A slight dip in value added was also registered in the business services sector (–0.1%), while accommodation and food services (+2.6%) and the finance sector (+0.7%) made gains.

Unlike in other European countries, the industry sector contributed significantly to GDP growth in the 2nd quarter. In manufacturing (+1.3%), value added almost continued the dynamic growth of the previous quarter, with turnover and exports climbing in the chemical and pharmaceutical segment in particular. However, other industry sectors, specifically machinery and metals, reported declining turnover and were thus in line with the recent international development. Exports of goods** (–0.8%) fell slightly overall. At the same time, imports** of goods and services also dropped (–0.6%).

Press briefing 5 September 2019 – 9.30 a.m. Media Centre in Bern:
Is Switzerland facing a recession?
Eric Scheidegger, Head of SECO’s Economic Policy Directorate, and Philipp Küttel, Head of the FSO’s National Accounts Section, explain the current GDP figures and the economic situation. On this occasion, the influence of major sporting events on gross domestic product will also be discussed.
Telephone media enquiries will be answered after the press briefing from around 11 a.m.

 * Real percentage changes on the previous quarter. Adjusted for the effects of major sporting events, economic growth amounted to 0.3%, after reaching 0.6% in the previous quarter. Data and further information:
** Excluding valuables.

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State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

Last modification 14.05.2024

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