Swiss Producer and Import Price Index fell in August 2020 by 0.4 %

The Producer and Import Price Index fell in August 2020 by 0.4% compared with the previous month, reaching 97.9 points (December 2015 = 100). This decline was due in particular to lower prices for chemical and pharmaceutical products. Compared with August 2019, the price level of the whole range of domestic and imported products fell by 3.5%. These are the results of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

In particular, lower prices for pharmaceutical preparations were responsible for the decrease in the producer price index compared with the previous month. Basic chemicals and petroleum products also became cheaper. In contrast, rising prices were observed for paints, varnishes and similar coatings, printing ink and mastics as well as for raw milk.

The import price index registered lower prices compared with July 2020, particularly for organic products of the chemical industry. Plastics in primary forms, petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products and other chemical products also showed falling prices. Non-ferrous metals and products made therefrom, basic iron, steel, plastic products and computers, on the other hand, became 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. We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our partners who also do their utmost to transmit their data to us under difficult conditions.

In August 2020, it was possible to collect all prices according to the survey plan. The quality of the price collection for the Producer and Import Price Index meets the usual standards.

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 at (in German):

https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/prices/producer-prices-import- prices/services.html

www.bfs.admin.ch