Private consumption progressed by 0.1%. There was a sharp rise in spending on healthcare as well as in the communication category. By contrast, spending on foods and drink, clothing and shoes as well as in the home and transport categories was lower. Government consumption and spending on social security increased by 1.7%. Gross fixed investments fell by 0.5%. The reduction was mainly attributable to investment in equipment which fell by 1.2%. The metal industry and vehicle manufacturing in particular made negative contributions to growth. By contrast, investment in construction continued to grow (+0.3%).
The export of goods increased by 2.3% in Q3. The export of chemicals and related products made a significant contribution to this result. Also other categories, although with a lower share of total exports (amongst others metals, vehicles and energy exports) experienced increasing export volumes. By contrast, there was a slight fall in exports of precision instruments, watches and jewellery as well as of the machinery and electronics industry. Exports of services continued to recede in the third quarter, falling by a further 1.4%. The import of goods rose by 0.8% in the third quarter 2012. Growth in the import of precision instruments, watches and jewelry was particularly strong, whilst imports of chemicals, machinery and electronics reported a slight fall. By contrast, vehicle imports showed negative growth. The import of services shrank by 1.9%.
On the production side most areas of the economy reported positive growth rates in their value-added. The processing industry in particular posted a relatively marked increase (+1.2%), thanks to a robust performance in the pharmaceuticals industry. The financial and insurance services sectors (+1.0% resp. +2.1%) also made a positive contribution to the growth in GDP, as did the information and communication sector. The healthcare and social services category also reported an increase in value-added (+2.1%). By contrast, the transport (-0.5%), construction (-0.1%) and hospitality and hotel categories sectors (-0.3%) all reported negative growth rates.