Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in May 2020

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index fell in May 2020 by 0.5 %.

The Producer and Import Price Index fell in May 2020 by 0.5 % compared with the previous month, reaching 97.6 points (December 2015 = 100). This decline is due in particular to lower prices for pharmaceutical and chemical products as well as for petroleum products. Compared with May 2019, the price level of the whole range of domestic and imported products fell by 4.5 %. These are the results of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

In particular, lower prices for pharmaceutical preparations and basic pharmaceutical products were responsible for the decrease in the producer price index compared with the previous month. In contrast, rising prices were seen for waste collection and materials recovery.

The import price index registered lower prices compared with April 2020, particularly for petroleum products, chemical products as well as for petroleum and natural gas. The prices of rubber and plastic products also fell, as did prices for basic metals, semi-finished products and other special purpose machinery. In contrast, fresh vegetables and citrus fruit were more expensive.

Quality of results

The current pandemic affects all of society and the entire economy. In this difficult context, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) must continue to provide public opinion, particularly the country’s decision makers and media, with reliable figures to allow measuring the consequences of this health crisis.

The measures taken by the Federal Council and the resulting restrictions on businesses have only marginally affected price surveys for the Producer and Import Price Index. Although the non- response rate was slightly higher (10%) than usual (8% on average), it was possible to carry out price surveys in all economic sectors planned. The results for May are of good quality.

We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our partners who are also doing their utmost to transmit their data to us in these difficult circumstances.

Applicable prices

The prices of domestic products are surveyed for the domestic market at the first marketing stage (i.e. ex works). These ex works prices include neither valued added tax nor consumption tax (e.g. on tobacco, alcohol or petroleum products).

For exports, net sales prices are surveyed FOB (free on board) which, pursuant to definition, do not include valued added tax.

For imports, prices are surveyed at the Swiss border minus valued added, consumption and customs taxes.

In general, the market prices (transaction prices) for products are surveyed at the time of ordering. Price reductions (discounts) are deducted. Prices in foreign currencies are converted at the exchange rate on the first working day of the survey reference period in Swiss francs. The reference period always covers the period from the 1st to 8th of the survey month. This provision allows the results for the reference month to be calculated and published in the course of the subsequent month.

Producer price index for selected services

Over a period of several years, the producer price index has gradually been extended to the service sector. The latest results are available from (in German only): importpreise/dienstleistungen.html