Value added on the production side increased in a number of service related sectors; particularly in the areas of trade, transport, information and communication, the delivery of financial services as well as in healthcare and social services. By contrast, the value added in the industry sector declined. Compared with the 4th quarter 2011, Swiss GDP grew by 1.4 percent.
Private consumption increased in the 4th quarter 2012 by 1.1 percent over the previous quarter. This strong growth is primarily driven by two categories: there was a very distinctive increase in spending on health and the category of miscellaneous goods and services, which comprises two thirds financial services and insurances, reported a higher than average rise. General government consumption also increased markedly by 1.1 percent.
The export of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems as well as works of art and antiques) decreased by 2.1 percent in the 4th quarter 2012. Chemicals and related products, which had previously reported strong growth, reported a fall in export volumes. Many other categories continued their stagnating or declining trend (e.g. exports by the machine, metal and textile manufacturing industries). By contrast, exports of precision instruments and watches delivered a positive contribution during the last quarter of 2012. The import of goods experienced a decline.
On the production side there was an increase in value-added particularly for the services sectors. The following production areas contributed positively to the GDP growth: trade, transport, information and communication, delivery of financial services, healthcare and social services as well as the public administration. By contrast, a decline in the value-added in the manufacturing industry, energy and water supplies, waste management, as well as in real estate activities.
From the results of the quarterly national accounts, a provisional GDP growth rate over the whole year 2012 of 1.0 percent at constant prices and of 1.1 percent at current prices can be derived.