May 30 2024

Gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2024

In the first quarter of 2024, Switzerland's GDP adjusted for sporting events grew by 0.3%. This continues the moderate economic growth of the previous quarter (+0.3%). The services sector grew again and private consumption increased solidly. However, industrial output stagnated.

Value added in manufacturing (−0.2%) fell slightly in the first quarter, and the chemical and pharmaceutical industry (−0.9%) continued the weak performance of recent quarters. In other industries, value added remained largely stable. The construction industry (+0.3%) expanded slightly as a result of rising turnover in building and civil engineering projects, while the development in construction investment (−0.2%) was somewhat less favourable. The energy sector (+2.1%) was the only industrial sector to record solid growth; energy exports also increased. Overall, value added in the industrial sector stagnated.

The services sector was the main driver of GDP growth in the first quarter, although performance was somewhat uneven. Financial services (−0.2%) recorded a slight fall in value added, while business-related services (−0.3%) also contracted. The transport and communication sector (−0.0%) was stagnant. In particular, freight transport showed only modest growth due to the weakness of the industrial sector. In contrast, value added in the accommodation and food services sector (+1.3%), health and social care services (+0.8%) and public administration (+0.2%) grew at a rate close to their respective historical averages. The retail sector (+1.4%) grew at an above-average rate, so that trade (+1.3%) also posted a positive result overall.

Reflecting the positive performance in retail, private consumption (+0.4%) grew solidly. This was mainly due to spending on food and non-food items, as well as on housing and health care. General government consumption (+0.2%) also increased slightly. Finally, the positive development of domestic final demand (+0.4%) was supported by investments in equipment (+0.8%), which increased for the first time after three consecutive negative quarters. In particular, there was an increase in investment in vehicles, IT and research and development.

In line with domestic demand, imports (+2.0%) of goods and services also grew strongly in the first quarter. On the other hand, goods exports (−3.3%) fell, partly due to a decline in transit trade. Services exports (+1.0%) increased slightly. Overall, foreign trade made a negative contribution to GDP growth.