Thursday June 07 2018
Swiss Jobless Rate Lowest Since September 2008
Seco | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss unemployment rate declined to a non-seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in May 2018 from 2.7 percent in the previous month and below market expectations of 2.5 percent. It was the lowest jobless rate since September 2008, as the number of unemployed fell further.

In May, the number of unemployed people declined by 10,389 from the previous month to 109,392. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment fell by 30,386, or 21.7 percent.

The number of jobseekers decreased by 8,593 to 185,467. The number decreased by 16,952, or 8.4 percent, compared with the same period last year. 

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, fell to 2 percent in May in from 2.2 percent in April. It was the lowest figure since October 2001. The number of young unemployed dropped by 1,015 to 10,901. Compared to May 2017, it decreased by 4,055 people, or 27.1 percent. 

When adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate edged down to 2.6 percent in May from 2.7 percent in April.




Wednesday June 06 2018
Swiss Inflation Rate Highest Since 2011
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Switzerland rose to 1.0 percent in May of 2018 from 0.8 percent in the previous month and above market expectations of 0.9 percent. It was the highest consumer inflation rate since March of 2011, as prices increased faster for housing and energy, tranportation and food while recreation and culture eased and health fell further.

Main upward pressure came from: housing and utilities (1.4 percent compared to 1.3 percent in April); transport (3.6 percent compared to 2.4 percent); food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.6 percent compared to 1.4 percent) and restaurants and hotels (0.2 percent compared to a flat reading). Also, prices of furnishings and household equipment declined at a softer pace (-1.0 percent compared to -1.6 percent). On the other hand, cost dropped further for health (-1.6 percent compared to -1.5 percent) while prices of recreation and culture eased (2.5 percent compared to 2.7 percent) and inflation was steady for miscellaneous goods and services (0.6 percent, the same as in April).

Annual core inflation, which strips out volatile price components like food, beverages, tobacco, seasonal products, energy and fuel, slowed to 0.4 percent in May from 0.5 percent in April. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.4 percent, after rising 0.2 percent in the prior month. The increase was boosted by higher prices of petrol (4.7 percent) and fresh fruit (49.5 percent). In contrast, prices decreased for medicines (-3.4 percent), other vegetables, aromatic herbs and mushrooms (-7.3 percent) and dried fruit and nuts (-4.4 percent).




Thursday May 31 2018
Swiss Q1 GDP Growth Beats Estimates
Seco l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss economy advanced 0.6 percent on quarter in the three months to March of 2018, the same as in the previous period but above market consensus of a 0.5 percent growth. Private consumption and equipment investment were the main drivers of expansion while net trade contributed slightly negatively to growth.

In the first quarter, household consumption rose by 0.4 percent year-on-year, after a 0.2 percent growth in the December quarter, supported by broad-based increases in consumer spending, including in healthcare and food. Meanwhile, government spending declined by 0.3 percent, compared to a 0.5 percent rise in the prior quarter. Investment in equipment and software grew by 3.6 percent, following a 1.3 percent decline in the fourth quarter. The rebound was broad-based, including in research and development, vehicles and IT. On the other hand, construction investment shrank by 0.4 percent, after a 1 percent rise in the previous period.  

Net foreign demand contributed slightly negatively to GDP growth. Exports of goods went up by 2 percent, following a 1.2 percent fall in the previous quarter. Transit trading and sales of precision instruments, watches and imitation jewelery particularly contributed to the rebound. Also, positive development was recorded for exports of machinery and metals. Meanwhile, exports of services rose by 0.9 percent, after a 2.6 percent drop in the December quarter. Imports of goods grew by 2.9 percent, following a 5 percent rise in Q4. Purchases continued to grow for: chemical and pharmaceutical products, vehicles and machinery. Imports of services expanded 0.8 percent, reversing from a 4.3 percent fall in the December quarter, due to renewed increase in licenses and patents.

Year-on-year, the GDP grew by 2.2 percent, following a 1.9 percent expansion in the previous period while markets estimated a 2.3 percent growth. It is the strongest yearly expansion since the December quarter 2014.




Tuesday May 29 2018
Swiss Trade Surplus Widens in April
Swiss Customs Administration | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss trade surplus widened to CHF 2.80 billion in April 2018 from a marginally revised CHF 2.25 billion in the previous month and beating market expectations of a CHF 2.23 billion surplus.

Exports edged down 0.2 percent to CHF 19.36 billion in April, as a steep decline in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (-3.6 percent) was partially offset by increases in exports of machinery and electronics (3.3 percent), watchmaking (2.1 percent), precision instruments (0.7 percent), metals (0.5 percent), and jewelery and bijouterie (13.6 percent).
 
Among major trade partners, exports dropped to the UK (-0.8 percent), Singapore (-23.5 percent), Canada (-20.3 percent) and Australia (-31.7 percent), but increased to China (0.2 percent), Japan (1.8 percent) and Hong Kong (11.1 percent); the EU (0.1 percent), mainly to Germany (2.9 percent), Italy (8.3 percent) and France (5.8 percent); and the US (4.3 percent).
 
Imports slumped 3.4 percent to CHF 16.56 billion in April, dragged by lower purchases of: chemical and pharmaceutical products (-16.6 percent); machinery and electronics (-0.2 percent); and vehicles (-17.2 percent). In contrast, imports went up for: jewelery and bijouterie (17.7 percent); metals (1.3 percent); and textiles, clothing, footwear (8.6 percent).
 
Among major trade partners, imports from the EU went down 4.2 percent, in particular from the UK (-22.6 percent), Germany (-0.3 percent), Italy (-2.7 percent) and France (-6.5 percent). Also, imports from the US declined 28.2 percent, while those from China and Singapore increased 8.4 percent and 46.5 percent respectively.
 
Considering the first four months of 2018, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to CHF 9.42 billion from CHF 13.15 billion surplus in the same period of 2017.




Tuesday May 08 2018
Swiss Jobless Rate Falls to Near 6-Year Low
Seco l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss unemployment rate fell to a non-seasonally adjusted 2.7 percent in April 2018 from 2.9 percent in the previous month, while markets were expecting it to remain unchanged. It was the lowest jobless rate since July 2012, as the number of unemployed declined further.

The number of unemployed people declined by 10,632 from the previous month to 119,781 in April. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment fell by 26,546, or 18.1 percent. 

The number of jobseekers decreased by 7,059 from the previous period to 194,060. The number decreased by 14,297, or 6.9 percent, compared with the same period last year. 

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, fell to 2.2 percent in April, the lowest since October 2001, from 2.5 percent in March. The number of young unemployed dropped by 1,635 to 11,916. Compared to April 2017, it decreased by 4,300 people, or 26.5 percent. 

When adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate edged down to 2.7 percent in April from 2.8 percent in March.


Monday May 07 2018
Swiss April Inflation Weaker than Expected
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss consumer price inflation was unchanged at 0.8 percent year-on-year in April 2018, matching November's seven-year high, but missing market expectations of 0.9 percent. Cost of housing, transportation and food rose at a faster pace while restaurants & hotels inflation fell sharply and health deflation deepened.

Main upward pressure came from: housing and utilities (1.3 percent vs 1.2 percent in March); transport (2.4 percent vs 1.7 percent); food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.4 percent vs 0.9 percent); recreation and culture (2.7 percent vs 2.4 percent); and miscellaneous goods and services (0.6 percent vs 0.4 percent). On the other hand, restaurants and hotels inflation fell to a flat reading (vs 0.8 percent in March) while prices dropped sharply for both health (-1.5 percent vs -1.4 percent) and furnishings and household equipment (-1.6 percent vs -0.5 percent).

Annual core inflation, which strips out volatile price components like food, beverages, tobacco, seasonal products, energy and fuel, slowed to 0.5 percent in April from 0.6 percent in March. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in April, following a 0.4 percent gain in March and also missing market consensus of 0.3 percent. The increase was led by higher prices of petroleum products (3 percent), international flat-rate travel (3.4 percent) and air transport (4.3 percent). By contrast, prices fell for overnight stays at the hotel (-7.1 percent), vegetables (-6.6 percent) and berries (-14.3 percent).


Tuesday April 24 2018
Swiss Trade Surplus Narrows in March
Swiss Customs Administration l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss trade surplus narrowed to CHF 2.32 billion in March 2018 from a marginally revised CHF 3.18 billion in the previous month.

Exports were almost unchanged at CHF 19.36 billion in March. An increase in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (1.3 percent) and precision instruments (2.4 percent) offset a decline in exports of machinery and electronics (-0.1 percent), watches (-1.1 percent), metals (-1.5 percent) and jewelery and bijouterie (-13.7 percent).
 
Among major trade partners, exports rose to China (16.5 percent), but fell to the EU (-2 percent), mainly to Germany (-6.2 percent), France (-7.9 percent) and Italy (-13.7 percent); the US (-0.5 percent).
 
Imports increased 5.4 percent to CHF 17.05 billion, driven by an increase in purchases of: chemical and pharmaceutical products (18.6 percent); machinery and electronics (2.8 percent); vehicles (31.3 percent); and textiles, clothing, footwear (0.2 percent). In contrast, imports dropped for both jewelery and bijouterie (-10.3 percent) and metals (-1.9 percent).
 
Among major trade partners, imports rose from the EU (4.7 percent), mainly from Germany (2.1 percent), Italy (0.5 percent), France (16.2 percent) and Italy (0.5 percent). Also, imports went up from the US (40.2 percent), but fell from China (-3.8 percent).
 
Considering the first quarter of 2018, the trade surplus narrowed to CHF 6.5 billion from CHF 9.9 billion surplus in the same period of 2017.


Monday April 09 2018
Swiss Jobless Rate Lowest Since 2014
Seco l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss unemployment rate fell to a non-seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent in March 2018 from 3.2 percent in the prior month and below market expectations of 3 percent. It was the lowest jobless rate since September 2014, as the number of unemployed declined further.

The number of unemployed people declined by 13,517 from the previous month to 130,413 in March. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment fell by 21,867, or 14.4 percent. 

The number of jobseekers decreased by 7,498 from the previous period to 201,119. The number decreased by 16,129, or 7.4 percent, compared with the same period last year. 

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, also fell to 2.5 percent in March from 2.9 percent in February. The number of young unemployed dropped by 2,240 to 13,551. Compared to March last year, it decreased by 4,012 people, or 22.8 percent. 

When adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate stood at 2.9 percent, the same rate as in February.



Thursday April 05 2018
Swiss Inflation Rate at 3-Month High of 0.8%
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Switzerland increased 0.8 percent year-on-year in March of 2018, up from a 0.6 percent rise in the prior month and slightly above market expectations of a 0.7 percent gain. It was the highest inflation rate since December.

Year-on-year, prices advanced faster for housing & utilities (1.2 percent vs 1 percent in February) and transport (1.7 percent vs 1.3 percent) while rebounded significantly for food (0.9 percent vs -0.4 percent). Additional upward pressure came from restaurants & hotels (0.8 percent vs 0.5 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (0.4 percent vs 0.2 percent).

In contrast, cost slowed for clothing & footwear (3.2 percent vs 4.7 percent) while it fell for health (-1.4 percent vs -1 percent), furniture & household equipment (-0.5 percent vs -1.1 percent) and communication (-0.6 percent vs -1.1 percent).

Annual core inflation, which strips out volatile price components like food, beverages, tobacco, seasonal products, energy and fuel, rose to 0.6 percent in March from 0.5 percent in the previous month. It was the highest rate since December.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 0.4 percent, the same pace as in the preceding month. Main upward pressure came from higher prices for air transportation; package tours abroad and hotel accomodation. In contrast, cost fell for fuel and medicines.


Tuesday March 20 2018
Swiss Trade Surplus Widens in February
Swiss Customs Administration l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss trade surplus widened to CHF 3.2 billion in February 2018 from a downwardly revised CHF 1.1 billion in the previous month.

Exports increased by 1.8 percent from the previous month to CHF 19.33 billion in February, mainly due to higher sales of: chemical and pharmaceutical products (4.1 percent); jewelery and bijouterie (22.6 percent); and food, beverages and tobacco (2.7 percent). In contrast, exports fell for: machinery and electronics (-2.3 percent); watches (-0.7 percent); precision instruments (-2.3 percent); and metals (-2.1 percent).
 
Among major trade partners, exports rose to the EU (3.1 percent), mainly Germany (1.2 percent), Italy (10.3 percent), France (8.9 percent) and Spain (39.1 percent). Meanwhile, sales went down to the US (-0.2 percent), the UK (-23.6 percent), China (-13 percent) and Japan (-6.4 percent).
 
Imports declined 9.8 percent to CHF 16.12 billion, dragged by a decrease in purchases of: chemical and pharmaceutical products (-20 percent); machinery and electronics (-5.6 percent); metals (-2.1 percent); vehicles (-33.6 percent); and textiles, clothing, footwear (-1.3 percent). In contrast, imports of jewelery and bijouterie went up 2.9 percent.
 
Among major trade partners, imports dropped from the EU (-6.5 percent), mainly from Germany (-1.7 percent), Italy (-7.4 percent), France (-4.5 percent), Spain (-18.3 percent) and the UK (-26.6 percent); and the US (-45.3 percent). Imports from China rose 2.8 percent.