Thursday August 09 2018
Swiss July Jobless Rate Steady at Near 10-Year Low
SECO | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss unemployment rate came in at a non-seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in July 2018, unchanged from the previous month. The jobless rate remained at its lowest level since September 2008.

The number of unemployed people declined by 527 from the previous month, or 0.5 percent, to 106,052 in July. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment fell by 27,874, or 20.8 percent.

Also, the number of jobseekers was almost unchanged at 179,857 in July, and declined by 15,366 year-on-year, or 7.9 percent. 

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, rose to 2.1 percent in July from a near 17-year low of 1.9 percent in June. The number of young unemployed increased by 1,070 to 11,807. Compared to July 2017, it decreased by 3,856 people, or 24.6 percent. 

When adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate stood at 2.6 percent in July, the same as in June.




Friday August 03 2018
Swiss Inflation Rate at Over 8-Year High
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss consumer price inflation rose to 1.2 percent year-on-year in July 2018 from 1.1 percent in the previous month and in line with market expectations. It was the highest inflation rate since April 2010 mainly boosted by higher transport prices.

Main upward pressure came from: transport (4.1 percent vs 3.9 percent); housing and utilities (1.5 percent, the same as in June); food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.5 percent vs 2.1 percent); restaurants and hotels (0.8 percent vs 0.2 percent); recreation and culture (1.9 percent vs 2.6 percent); and miscellaneous goods and services (0.4 percent vs 0.6 percent). On the other hand, health prices continued to drop (-0.8 percent vs -1.5 percent).

Annual core inflation, which strips out volatile price components like food, beverages, tobacco, seasonal products, energy and fuel, stood at 0.5 percent in July, unchanged from the previous month's figure. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices dropped 0.2 percent in July after showing no growth in June and compared to market consensus of a 0.3 percent drop.




Thursday July 19 2018
Swiss Trade Surplus Widens in June
Swiss Customs Administration | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss trade surplus widened slightly to CHF 1.31 billion in June 2018 from a downwardly revised CHF 1.24 billion in the previous month, as exports rose more than imports.

Exports rose 0.4 percent to CHF 18.79 billion in June, driven by increases in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (1.3 percent), precision instruments (1.4 percent), metals (1.6 percent), and jewelry and bijouterie (6 percent). By contrast, exports of machinery and electronics declined 0.6 percent while those of watchmaking were unchanged. 

Among major trade partners, exports rose 0.7 percent to the EU, mainly to Germany (2.1 percent); the Netherlands (17.5 percent), the UK (0.5 percent), and Austria (14.7 percent); while those to France and Italy dropped 6.4 percent and 2.6 percent respectively. In addition, sales grew to China (5.4 percent), the US (3.7 percent) and Canada (9.1 percent); but fell to Japan (-11.7 percent), Hong Kong (-5.6 percent) and Singapore (-18.2 percent).

Imports edged up 0.1 percent to CHF 17.49 billion in June. An increase in purchases of machinery and electronics (1.5 percent), vehicles (2.9 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (0.6 percent) and metals (1.8 percent); offset a decline in imports of chemical and pharmaceutical products (-0.3 percent), textiles, clothing, footwear (-1.8 percent), and food, beverages and tobacco (-3.8 percent).
 
Among major trade partners, imports from the EU went up 1 percent, namely from Germany (2.7 percent), Italy (2.6 percent), the UK (12.7 percent) and Austria (10.5 percent); while those from France and the Netherlands declined 3.7 percent and 9.3 percent respectively. Also, imports rose from the US (6.4 percent) and the UAE (18.5 percent), while those from China fell 1.2 percent.

In the second quarter of the year, the trade surplus widened to CHF 4.6 billion from CHF 3.6 billion in the previous three-month period. Exports advanced 1.4 percent to a quarterly record of CHF 55.7 billion, with sales to Germany, the US and China hitting all-time highs; while imports fell 0.4 percent to CHF 51.1 billion.
 
Considering the first half of the year, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to CHF 8.2 billion from CHF 12.7 billion surplus in the same period of 2017.
 




Monday July 09 2018
Swiss June Jobless Rate Unchanged at Near 10-Year Low
SECO | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss unemployment rate came in at a non-seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in June 2018, unchanged from the previous month and the lowest since September 2008.

The number of unemployed people declined by 2,813 from the previous month, or 2.6 percent, to 106,579 in June. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment fell by 27,024, or 20.2 percent.

Also, the number of jobseekers dropped by 5,690 to 179,777 in June, and declined by 17,119 year-on-year, or 8.7 percent. 

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, fell to 1.9 percent in June in from 2 percent in May. It was the lowest figure since September 2001. The number of young unemployed dropped by 164 to 10,737. Compared to June 2017, it decreased by 3,371 people, or 23.9 percent. 

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


Thursday July 05 2018
Swiss Inflation Rate at Over 8-Year High
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Gabriela Costa | gabriela.costa@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Switzerland rose to 1.1 percent in June of 2018 from 1 percent in the previous month and in line with market expectations. It was the highest consumer inflation rate since May of 2010, as prices increased faster for almost all major groups.

Main upward pressure came from: housing and utilities (1.5 percent compared to 1.4 percent in May); transport (3.9 percent compared to 3.6 percent); food and non-alcoholic beverages (2.1 percent compared to 1.6 percent) and recreation and culture (2.6 percent compared to 2.5 percent). In addition, cost declined at a softer pace for health (-1.5 percent compared to -1.6 percent) and furnishings and household equipment (-0.5 percent compared to -1 percent). Meanwhile, inflation was steady for restaurants and hotels (0.2 percent, the same as in May) and miscellaneous goods and services (0.6 percent).

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

On a monthly basis, consumer prices were flat, after rising 0.4 percent in the prior month. Rises in cost of international package holidays (3.8 percent); fruits and vegetables (18 percent) and fuel (1.6 percent) were offset by falls in prices for clothing and footwear (-2.5 percent) and air transport (-5.5 percent).


Thursday June 21 2018
Switzerland Keeps Rates Steady
SNB | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss National Bank left its benchmark three-month Libor at -0.75 percent on June 21st, 2018, in line with market expectations. Policymakers continued to say the Swiss franc remains too strong and revised higher inflation forecasts for 2018.

Excerpts from the SNB press release:

All in all, the value of the Swiss franc has barely changed since the monetary policy assessment of March 2018. The currency remains highly valued. Following the March assessment, the Swiss franc initially depreciated slightly against the US dollar and the euro. However, in light of political uncertainty in Italy, we have since seen countermovement, particularly against the euro. The situation on the foreign exchange market thus remains fragile, and the negative interest rate and our willingness to intervene in the foreign exchange market as necessary therefore remain essential. These measures keep the attractiveness of Swiss franc investments low and ease pressure on the currency.

The new conditional inflation forecast for the coming quarters is slightly higher than it was in March 2018 due to a marked rise in the price of oil; this price rise ceases to affect annual inflation after the first quarter of 2019. From mid-2019, the new conditional forecast is lower than it was in March 2018, mainly due to the muted outlook in the euro area. At 0.9%, the inflation forecast for 2018 is 0.3 percentage points higher than projected at the March assessment. For 2019, the SNB continues to anticipate inflation of 0.9%. For 2020, we expect to see inflation of 1.6%, compared with 1.9% forecast in the last quarter. The conditional inflation forecast is based on the assumption that the three-month Libor remains at –0.75% over the entire forecast horizon.

The risks to the SNB’s baseline scenario are more to the downside. Chief among them are political developments in certain countries as well as potential international tensions and protectionist tendencies.




Thursday June 21 2018
Swiss Trade Surplus Narrows in May
Swiss Customs Administration l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Swiss trade surplus narrowed to CHF 2.26 billion in May 2018 from a marginally revised CHF 2.72 billion in the previous month, as exports barely unchanged while imports increased.

Exports were almost unchanged at CHF 19.56 billion in May, as a slightly decline in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (-0.4 percent); machinery and electronics (-0.1 percent), watchmaking (-0.2 percent), precision instruments (-2.8 percent), metals (-0.7 percent) was offset by increases in exports of jewelry and bijouterie (1.7 percent).
 
Among major trade partners, exports rose 2.8 percent to the EU mainly to Italy (12.6 percent), Germany (0.8 percent), and France (7.3 percent); Japan (5 percent); Singapore (30.7 percent); Canada (9.4 percent), but dropped to China (-5.8 percent); Australia (-13.6 percent), and Hong Kong (-3.9 percent).
 
Imports rose 3.1 percent to CHF 17.30 billion in May, driven by higher purchases of chemical and pharmaceutical products (14.5 percent); vehicles (9.7 percent), and jewelry and bijouterie (1.6 percent). In contrast, imports went down for machinery and electronics (-1 percent); metals (-2 percent), and textiles, clothing, footwear (-0.7 percent).
 
Among major trade partners, imports from the EU went up 3.2 percent, namely Germany (1.3 percent), France (11.1 percent), and Netherlands (5 percent). Also, imports from the US increased 14 percent, while those from China and Japan fell 5.3 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.
 
Considering the first five months of 2018, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to CHF 11.6 billion from CHF 16 billion surplus in the same period of 2017.


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.