Swiss Gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2022: continued recovery, disparate sectoral trends

Switzerland’s GDP grew by 0.5 % in the first quarter, following on from a 0.2% increase in the last quarter of 2021.* The recovery continued as expected, driven largely by the industrial sector. Parts of the service sector were held back at the beginning of the quarter by the most recent wave of the pandemic and the accompanying restrictions.

Value added in manufacturing (+1.7%) saw another robust increase in the first quarter. While growth slowed in the chemical and pharmaceutical sector, other industries gained significant momentum, underpinned by rising demand in key trading partner countries. This was accom-panied by stronger growth in goods exports** (+1.4 %) than the historical average. Exports were up for numerous goods including precision instruments, watches and jewellery, machinery and metals. Goods imports** (+6.1 %) saw an even sharper rise, largely driven by stronger imports of chemical and pharmaceutical products.

Industrial growth also boosted parts of the service sector. For example, wholesale trade turned in a positive performance and prevented a steeper decline in trade (−0.1%) overall. The transport and communications sector (+0.2%) was also bolstered by the increased transfer of goods, although growth in this sector was dampened by reduced mobility levels amid the most recent wave of the pandemic.

Public health measures had significantly less impact on the economy in the first quarter than in previous waves and were already being eased from February onwards. Consequently, the sectors directly affected did not experience any real slump in value added this time. Accommodation and food services was the only sector to see a noticeable decline (−2.2 %). The rebound in international guest numbers stalled at the beginning of the year, while the requirement/recommendation to work from home curbed demand in the restaurant sector. In line with this, retail sales in the food sector increased. In other areas of private consumption (+0.4 %), there were signs of some normalisation: non-food purchases slackened at a high level, while more trips abroad were again made.

The only other component of domestic final demand to grow significantly was government consumption (+1.4 %), driven by pandemic-related spending. Investment in equipment (–3.1 %) fell significantly after a strong previous quarter. This is largely explained by the volatile investments in research and development. In line with the decline in value added in the construction sector (–0.4 %), construction investment (–0.7 %) also fell again, constrained by bottlenecks in intermediate products, among other things.

* Quarter-on-quarter growth rates in real terms. Adjusted for sporting events, GDP grew by 0.4% in the first quarter of 2022 and 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021.
** Excluding valuables.
*** Cf. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/metadata/covid-19-support-for-statisticians

 

 

Notes:

3 Manufacturing: Noga 10–33; Construction: Noga 41–43; Trade: Wholesale and retail trade; Repair of motor vehicles, Noga 45–47; Accomodation,

food: Accommodation and food service activities, Noga 55–56; Finance, insurance: Financial and insurance activities, Noga

64–66; Business services: Real estate services; professional, scienti_c and technical activities; administrative and support service activities,

Noga 68–82; Public administration: Public administration and defence; compulsory social security, Noga 84; Health, social activities:

Human health and social work activities, Noga 86–88; Arts, entertainment, recreation: Arts, entertainment and recreation , Noga 90–93.

Other: Agriculture, forestry, _shing, Noga 01–03; Mining and quarrying, Noga 05–09; Energy and water supply, waste management and

remediation activities, Noga 35–39; Transportation and storage, Noga 49–53 Information and communication, Noga 58–63; Education,

Noga 85; Other service activities, Noga 94-96; Activities of households as employers, Producing activities of households for own use, Noga

97–98; taxes and subsidies on products.

4 Valuables contain: precious metals, jewellery and gems, works of art and antiques and non-monetary gold.

Further Information:

Economic situation in Switzerland (in German) (PDF, 893 kB)

www.seco.admin.ch