Switzerland’s GDP rose by 0.6 % in the 1st quarter of 2019. Growth was driven primarily by increasing domestic demand. Foreign trade also provided positive impetus. Value added grew in most sectors.
Switzerland’s GDP rose by 0.6% in the 1st quarter of 2019, after increasing by 0.3% (revised) in the previous quarter.* As in other European countries, growth accelerated.
Private consumption (+0.4 %) saw slightly above-average growth for the first time in six quarters. Consumption expenditures increased in almost all segments and most significantly in healthcare, followed by mobility. Investment in construction (+0.5 %) grew considerably after experiencing a small decline in the second half of 2018. Value added in construction (+1.9 %) climbed more sharply than it had since the end of 2017. Construction turnover was boosted both in construction of buildings and in civil engineering. Investment in equipment also recorded a positive development (+1.5 %) spread across many categories. Research and development, vehicles and IT services saw increased investment in particular.
Supported by growing domestic demand and rising exports of services (+1.7%), most service sectors developed positively in the 1st quarter. In the important sector of business-related services (+0.4%), the slightly above-average growth of the previous quarter continued, while in healthcare (+0.8%) the pace only slowed marginally. In trade (+0.5%), too, value added made gains again for the first time after five negative quarters, bolstered by the positive development in wholesale. Finally, the finance sector (+0.7 %) also returned to growth.
As in the previous quarter, manufacturing (+1.5 %) saw dynamic growth. Production stepped up in the pharmaceutical industry as well as in watchmaking and precision instruments. This was not least due to international demand for Swiss products, with exports of goods** (+2.2 %) growing again in the 1st quarter. At the same time, imports** of goods and services also rose (+2.0 %).
* Percentage changes on the previous quarter of chained series, price, seasonal and calendar-adjusted national accounts aggregates in accordance with ESA 2010.
** Excluding non-monetary gold and valuables.