Tuesday May 23 2017
Switzerland Trade Surplus Narrows To Near 2-1/2 Year Low
Swiss Customs Administration l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Switzerland trade surplus decreased to CHF 1.97 billion in April of 2017 from CHF 2.42 billion a year earlier as exports fell more than imports. Year-on-year, sales went down by 10.4 percent to CHF 16.15 billion while purchases fell 9.1 percent to CHF 14.18 billion.

Year-on-year, sales went down by 10.4 percent to CHF 16.15 billion, due to a decrease in sales of metals (-4.9 percent), pharmaceuticals (-11.5 percent), machinery and electronics (-12.6 percent), watches (-5.7 percent), precision instruments (-13.1 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (-6.6 percent), food, beverages and tobacco (-5.9 percent), plastics (-17.1 percent), and vehicles (-20.6 percent). In contrast, exports increased for: textiles, clothing and footwear (6 percent) and paper and graphic products (4.0 percent). 

Among major trade partners, sales decreased to: the EU countries (-11.5 percent), Japan (-9.1 percent), Hong Kong (-11.60 percent), the US (-11.0 percent), South Africa (-35.5 percent), Singapore (-2.8 percent), South Korea (-7.7 percent), India (-7.7 percent),  Australia (-0.1 percent), the Middle east (-25.7 percent), Indonesia (-21.9 percent), Brazil (-12.0 percent), Nigeria (-24.3 percent), and Egypt (-36.3 percent).

In contrast, sales went up to China (9.0 percent) and Canada 12.8 percent).

Purchases fell 9.1 percent to CHF 14.18 billion, due to a decrease in purchases of plastics (-9.5 percent), machinery and electronic (-9 percent), metals (-5.4 percent), watches (-25.4 percent), food, beverages and tobacco (-4.6 percent), chemicals and pharmaceuticals (-15.7 percent), paper and graphic products (-11.5 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (-14.5 percent), and vehicles (-2.3 percent).

In contrast, import rose for: energy products (15.2 percent) and textiles, clothing and footwear (2.6 percent).

In March 2017, trade surplus was registered CHF 3.10 billion.
 




Thursday May 11 2017
Switzerland Inflation Rate Falls From 6-Year High To 0.4%
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Switzerland increased 0.4 percent year-on-year in April of 2017, lower than a near six-year high 0.6 percent increase in March. Figures came below market expectations of 0.5 percent, as prices slowed for food, hotel nights and transport.

Year-on-year, inflation eased for food (0 percent from 0.6 percent in March), transport (1.7 percent from 2 percent), recreation and culture (1.1 percent from 1.7 percent) and was steady for housing and utilities (1.3 percent). In addition, prices fell faster for health (-0.7 percent from -0.6 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (-0.9 percent from 0.4 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.2 percent, the same as in March and matching forecasts. Upward pressures came mainly from cost of clothing, with the arrival of the new summer collections and package travel abroad and air travel. On the other hand, prices of vegetables and hotel nights decreased.




Tuesday May 09 2017
Swiss Jobless Rate Falls To 5-Month Low Of 3.3% In April
Seco l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss unadjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.3 percent in April of 2017 from 3.4 percent in March and in line with market estimates. It was the lowest jobless figure since November 2016, as the number of unemployed and jobseekers went down.

In April, there were 146,327 unemployed persons enrolled at the regional employment centers, about 5,935 less persons than in the prior month. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment decreased by 3,213 persons (-2.1 percent). 

The number of jobseekers reached 208,357, a drop of 8,891 persons compared with March while it decreased by 2,569 compared with the same period last year. 

Youth unemployment (15 to 24 year old) fell 1,347 persons to 16,216. Compared with April 2016, this represents a decrease of 1,655 people (-9.3 percent). 

Adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate stood at 3.3 percent, unchanged from the prior seven months. 




Thursday April 27 2017
Switzerland Trade Surplus Widens In March
Swiss Customs Administration l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Switzerland trade surplus rose to CHF 3.10 billion in March of 2017 from CHF 2.08 billion a year earlier and above market expectations of CHF 3.01 billion, as exports increased more than imports. Considering the first three months of 2017 the trade surplus was recorded CHF 11 billion.

Year-on-year, sales went up by 10.2 percent to CHF 19.60 billion, driven by metals (21.8 percent), textiles, clothing and footwear (32.9 percent), pharmaceuticals (12.2 percent), machinery and electronics (6.4 percent), watches (7.6 percent), precision instruments (13.4 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (4.9 percent), food, beverages and tobacco (1.1 percent), plasticts (5.4 percent), and paper and graphic products (4.0 percent). In contrast, exports decreased for: vehicles (-11.2 percent).
 
Among major trade partners, sales increased to: the EU countries (13.7 percent), Japan (20.1 percent), Hong Kong (17.0 percent), the US (11.1 percent), South Africa (38.5 percent), China (25.0 percent), Singapore (5.5 percent), South Korea (19.5 percent), India (9.0 percent), and Australia (0.7 percent).
 
In contrast, sales went down to the Middle east (-20.5 percent), Indoenesia (-34.5 percent), Canada (-4.2 percent), Brazil (-8.8 percent), Nigeria (-50.5 percent), and Egypt (-4.8 percent).
 
Purchases rose 5.0 percent to CHF 16.50 billion, boosted by energy products (42.0 percent), machinery and electronic (10.5 percent), metals (12.3 percent), textiles, clothing and footwear (18.4 percent), watches (10.3 percent), plastic products (8.6 percent), food, beverages and tobacco (7.1 percent), chemicals and pharmaceuticals (0.7 percent), and paper and graphic products (0.4 percent). In contrast, import fell for: jewelry and bijouterie (-7.6 percent) and vehicles (-6.3 percent).
 
In February 2017, trade surplus was registered CHF 3.12 billion.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Friday April 07 2017
Swiss Jobless Rate Falls To 4-Month Low Of 3.4% In March
Seco l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent in March of 2017 from 3.6 percent in February and in line with market estimates. It was the lowest jobless figure since November 2016, as the number of unemployed and jobseekers went down.

In March, there were 152,280 unemployed persons enrolled at the regional employment centers, about 7,529 less persons than in the prior month. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment decreased by 3,044 persons (-2 percent). 

The number of jobseekers reached 217,248, a drop of 6,379 persons compared with February while it decreased by 939 compared with the same period last year. 

Youth unemployment (15 to 24 year old) fell 1,545 persons to 17,563. Compared with March 2016, this represents a decrease of 1,344 people (-7.1 percent). 

Adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate stood at 3.3 percent, unchanged from the prior six months. 


Thursday April 06 2017
Swiss Inflation Rate Steady At Near 6-Year High
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss consumer prices increased by 0.6 percent year-on-year in March 2017, the same pace as in the previous month and above market consensus of a 0.5 percent gain. The inflation rate remained at the highest level since June 2011.

Compared with March 2016, cost rose further for recreation and culture (1.7 percent from 0.4 percent in February); while prices increased at a slower pace for transport (2 percent from 2.4 percent); food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.6 percent from 1.8 percent); and housing and utilities (1.3 percent from 1.5 percent). By contrast, prices continued to fall for health (-0.6 percent from -0.7 percent in February) and miscellaneous goods and services (-0.4 percent from -1 percent).

Annual core inflation, which strips out volatile price components like food, beverages, tobacco, seasonal products, energy and fuel, came in at 0.1 percent, the first positive reading since February 2015.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent after rising by 0.5 percent in January and in line with expectations. Prices rose for recreation and culture (1.7 percent) and clothing and footwear (6.8 percent), but fell for food and non-alcoholic beverages (-1.2 percent), housing and utilities (-0.1 percent) and furnishings and household equipment (-0.7 percent).


Tuesday March 21 2017
Switzerland Trade Surplus Narrows In February
Swiss Customs Administration l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Switzerland trade surplus narrowed to CHF 3.10 billion in February of 2017 from CHF 3.80 billion a year earlier and below market consensus of CHF 3.85 billion, as exports fell while imports went up.

Year-on-year, sales declined by 3.2 percent to CHF 16.99 billion, mainly due to machinery and electronics (-1.2 percent), watches (-10.0 percent), precision instruments (-3.0 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (-24.2 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (-3.4 percent), vehicles (-11.9 percent), plastic products (-7.6 percent) and paper and graphic products (-13.7 percent). In contrast, exports increased for: metals (5.0 percent) and  textiles, clothing and footwear (10.7 percent). Sales were flat for chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Among major trade partners, sales decreased to: the EU countries (-2.0 percent), Japan (-9.3 percent), Hong Kong (-3.2 percent), the US (-11.2 percent), the Middle-East countries (-28.5 percent) and South Africa (-37.8 percent). In contrast, sales went up to Russia (13.9 percent), China (19.4 percent), Singapore (7.6 percent), South Korea (31.7 percent), India (13.3 percent), Canada (13.8 percent), Brazil (41.0 percent) and Australia (2.3 percent).

Purchases rose 1.1 percent to CHF 13.88 billion, driven by  chemicals and pharmaceuticals (10.7 percent), vehicles (28.0 percent) and energy products (32.2 percent). In contrast, import fell for: machiner and electronic (-2.5 percent), metals (-2.5 percent); textiles, clothing and footwear (-2.4 percent),  food, beverages and tobacco (-5.3 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (-37.6 percent), plastic products (-8.1 percent), paper and graphic products (-9.6 percent) and watches (-22.2 percent).

In January 2017, trade surplus was upwardly revised to CHF 4.83 billion, the largest in history.


Thursday March 16 2017
Switzerland Leaves Key Rate At -0.75%
SNB | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss National Bank held its deposit interest rate at a record low of -0.75 percent on March 16th, as widely expected, saying the franc is still significantly overvalued and the current expansionary monetary policy is aimed at stabilizing price developments and supporting economic activity. Meanwhile, the central bank raised inflation forecasts for 2017 to 0.3 percent from 0.1 percent previously estimated; and for 2018 cut to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent.

Excerpts from the SNB press release:

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is maintaining its expansionary monetary policy. Interest on sight deposits at the SNB is to remain at –0.75% and the target range for the three-month Libor is unchanged at between –1.25% and –0.25%. The SNB will remain active in the foreign exchange market as necessary, while taking the overall currency situation into consideration. The SNB’s expansionary monetary policy is aimed at stabilising price developments and supporting economic activity. The Swiss franc is still significantly overvalued. The negative interest rate and the SNB’s willingness to intervene in the foreign exchange market are intended to make Swiss franc investments less attractive, thereby easing pressure on the currency.

Compared to December, the new conditional inflation forecast is slightly higher for the next few quarters. Increased oil prices in particular contribute to the rise in inflation in the short term. Over the longer term, however, the conditional inflation forecast is marginally lower. The inflation forecast for 2017 has risen to 0.3%, compared to 0.1% in the previous quarter. For 2018, the SNB anticipates inflation of 0.4%, compared to 0.5% in the previous quarter. The forecast for 2019 is 1.1%. The conditional inflation forecast is based on the assumption that the three-month Libor remains at –0.75% over the entire forecast horizon. 

In Switzerland, fourth-quarter GDP growth was lower than expected. According to an initial quarterly estimate, GDP grew – as in the third quarter – at an annualised rate of just 0.3%. However, a more extensive analysis of the available economic indicators points to an ongoing moderate recovery in the final months of the year; developments on the labour market support this view. Although the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained stable, the number of people out of work declined slightly from August onwards. Discussions with company representatives conducted by the SNB’s delegates for regional economic relations also suggest a moderate improvement of the economic situation.

Given favourable economic developments internationally, the outlook for Switzerland’s economy is cautiously optimistic. Overall, the SNB continues to expect GDP growth of roughly 1.5% for 2017. Nonetheless, the forecast for Switzerland, too, is marked by considerable uncertainty emanating from international risks.

Growth on the mortgage and real estate markets remained fairly constant at a relatively low level in the fourth quarter of 2016. At the same time, the slowdown in price momentum in the residential property market continued. Imbalances on the mortgage and real estate markets nevertheless persist. The SNB will continue to monitor developments on these markets closely, and will regularly reassess the need for an adjustment of the countercyclical capital
buffer. 





Thursday March 09 2017
Swiss Jobless Rate Edges Down To 3.6% In February
Seco | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss unadjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.6 percent in February of 2017 from 3.7 percent in January, as the number of unemployed and jobseekers went down.

In February, there were 159,809 unemployed persons enrolled at the regional employment centers, about 4,657 less persons than in the prior month. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment decreased by 1,608 persons (-1 percent). 

The number of jobseekers reached 223,627, a drop of 3,234 persons compared with January while it increased by 739 compared with the same period last year. 

Youth unemployment (15 to 24 year old) fell 674 persons to 19,108. Compared with February 2016, this represents a decrease of 1,383 people (-0.2 percent). 

Adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate stood at 3.3 percent, unchanged from the prior five months. 



Wednesday March 08 2017
Swiss Inflation Rate Highest Since June 2011
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss consumer prices increased by 0.6 percent year-on-year in February 2017, following a 0.3 percent gain in the previous month. It was the highest inflation rate since June 2011, mainly due to rising prices of transportation, food and clothing. On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.5 percent after showing no growth in January and beating market expectations of a 0.2 percent gain.

Compared with February 2016, transport prices rose by 2.4 percent after increasing by 1.3 percent in January, as cost of fuel and energy jumped 9.5 percent (from 8.1 percent in January); cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages grew 1.8 percent, accelerating from a 0.9 percent gain in the previous month; and cost of clothing and footwear advanced 1.1 percent, recovering from a 0.7 percent drop in the previous month. Additional upward pressure came from: Housing and utilities (1.5 percent from 1.6 percent in January); and recreation and culture (0.4 percent from 0.2 percent). By contrast, prices of health continued to decline (-0.7 percent from -0.6 percent in January).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.5 percent after showing no growth in January and beating market expectations of a 0.2 percent gain, due to higher prices of clothing and footwear (3.9 percent), transport (1.2 percent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.3 percent).