Tuesday January 10 2017
Swiss Jobless Rate Up to 8-Month High of 3.5% in December
Seco l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss unadjusted unemployment rate increased to 3.5 percent in December of 2016, compared to a 3.3 percent in November and above market estimates of 3.3 percent. It was the highest jobless rate since April, as the number of unemployed and jobseekers went up.

In December, there were 159,372 unemployed persons enrolled at the regional employment centers, about 10,144 more persons than in the previous month. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment increased by 743 persons (+0.0 percent). 

The number of jobseekers reached 223,413, an increase of 8,198 persons compared with November while it increased by 3,204 compared with the same period last year.

Youth unemployment (15 to 24 year old) increased by 295 persons to 19,216. Compared with December 2015, this represents a decrease of 1,406 people (-0.2 percent).

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




Thursday January 05 2017
Swiss CPI Steady After Falling For 2 Years
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Switzerland were unchanged year-on-year in December of 2016, following 25 consecutive months of decline and matching market expectations. Higher prices of housing and utilities, food and restaurants and hotels were offset by falling cost of health, transport and recreation and culture. Considering full 2016, consumer prices were down 0.4 percent on average, in line with government and central bank forecasts.

Year-on-year, main upward pressure came from cost of housing and utilities (1.5 percent vs 0.6 percent in November); food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.9 percent vs 0.8 percent in November) and restaurants and hotels (0.1 percent vs -0.1 percent in November). In contrast, biggest downward impact came from health (-0.6 percent, the same as in November); transport (-0.3 percent vs -1.7 percent in November) and recreation and culture (-0.1 percent vs -0.4 percent in November).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent drop in the previous period, mainly due to lower cost for tour packages, clothing and footwear and food. In contrast, prices rose for fuel, public transportation and air transport.




Tuesday December 20 2016
Switzerland Trade Surplus Widens in November
Swiss Customs Administration l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Switzerland trade surplus rose to CHF 3.64 billion in November of 2016 from CHF 3.12 billion a year earlier as exports rose while imports fell.

Year-on-year, sales increased by 2.5 percent to CHF 18.8 billion, mainly driven by chemical- pharmaceutical products (+4.5 percent), machinery and electronics (+4.7 percent), precision instruments (+2.1 percent), metals (+7.3 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (+1.1 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (+0.1 percent), textiles, clothing and footwear (+20.0 percent), and plastic products (+1.6 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments went down for: watches (-5.6 percent), vehicles (-19.5 percent) and paper and graphic products (-0.8 percent). Among major trade partners, sales were higher to the EU countries (+1.1 percent),China (+16.8 percent), Singapore (+10.1 percent), the US (+3.0 percent), Brazil (+3.9 percent), South Africa (+33.8 percent) and Australia (+11.9 percent). In contrast, sales fell to Japan (-12.4 percent) and India (-4.9 percent.

Purchases dropped by 0.4 percent to CHF 15.2 billion, due to chemicals and pharmaceuticals (-5.0 percent), machinery and electronics (-1.3 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (-31.8 percent), paper and graphic products (-0.8 percent) and watches (-1.4 percent). In contrast, imports rose for: vehicles (+13.2 percent), metals (+1.5 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (+4.1 percent); textiles, clothing and footwear (+15.8 percent), energy carriers (+6.9 percent), precision instruments (+4.0 percent) and plastics (+0.5 percent).

In October 2016, trade surplus was marginally  revised to CHF 2.66 billion.




Thursday December 15 2016
Switzerland Holds Policy 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 December 15th, 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 cut inflation forecasts for 2017 to 0.1 percent from 0.2 percent previously estimated; and for 2018 to 0.5 percent from 0.6 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%. At the same time, 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 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. The Swiss franc is still significantly overvalued.

Compared to September, the new conditional inflation forecast has been revised slightly downwards in the short term. This mainly reflects the fact that inflation in October and November was slightly lower than expected. The SNB nevertheless anticipates an unchanged inflation rate of –0.4% for 2016. For 2017, however, the forecast is down to 0.1%, from 0.2% in the previous quarter. For 2018, the SNB now expects inflation of 0.5%, compared to 0.6% in the third quarter. The conditional inflation forecast is based on the assumption that the three-month Libor remains at –0.75% over the entire forecast horizon.

According to an initial quarterly estimate, GDP in Switzerland grew at an annualised rate of 0.2% in the third quarter. This small increase must also be seen in the context of high growth in the second quarter. Year-on-year, GDP rose by 1.3% in the third quarter. Overall, economic indicators point to a continuation of the moderate economic recovery in Switzerland and are thus consistent with our previous GDP growth forecast of around 1.5% for 2016 as a whole. Developments on the labour market support this view. Up until November, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for this year was stable at 3.3%. Survey-based labour demand indicators have recovered further. The outlook for the coming year is cautiously optimistic. As for 2016, the SNB expects GDP growth for 2017 to be roughly 1.5%. Prevailing international risks mean that forecasts, including Switzerland’s, continue to be fraught with considerable uncertainties. Over the last six months, growth on the mortgage and real estate markets has remained fairly constant at a relatively low level. At the same time, imbalances on these markets have decreased slightly overall due to developments in fundamentals. However, imbalances are still at a similarly high level as in 2014, when the sectoral countercyclical capital buffer was set at 2%. 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. 




Friday December 09 2016
Swiss Jobless Rate Rises To 7-Month High
Seco l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss unadjusted unemployment rate increased to 3.3 percent in November of 2016, compared to a 3.2 percent in the previous month. It was the highest jobless figure since April, as the number of unemployed went up. Adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate also stood at 3.3 percent, unchanged from the prior two months.

In November, there were 149,228 unemployed persons enrolled at the regional employment centers, about 4,697 more persons than in the previous month. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment increased by 1,085 persons (+0.0 percent). 

The number of jobseekers reached 215,215, an increase of 7,703 persons compared with October while it increased by 4,329 compared with the same period last year.

Youth unemployment (15 to 24 year old) decreased by 174 persons to 18,921. Compared with November 2015, this represents a decrease of 1,133 people (-0.2 percent).

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


Tuesday December 06 2016
Swiss Deflation Deepens in November
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss consumer prices declined by 0.3 percent in the year to November 2016, following a 0.2 percent fall in October and worse than market expectations of a 0.2 percent drop. It was the 25th straight month of deflation and the biggest decline in consumer prices since June this year, mainly due to a fall in prices of leisure activities and accommodation.

Compared with November 2015, cost of recreation and culture dropped 0.4 percent, following a 1.2 percent increase in October; and prices of restaurants and hotels dropped 0.1 percent, after showing no growth the previous month. Additional downward pressure came from: Health (-0.6 percent, the same as in October); transport (-1.7 percent from -2.4 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (-1.8 percent, the same as in October); and furnishings and household equipment (-2.7 percent from -1 percent). By contrast, prices of housing and utilities advanced 0.6 percent, following a 0.3 percent gain in the previous month; and cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages went up 0.8 percent, the same as in October.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.2 percent, after rising 0.1 percent in October, mainly due to lower prices of recreation and culture (-1.5 percent) while cost rose for housing and utilities (+0.3 percent).


Friday December 02 2016
Switzerland GDP Stalls in Q3
Seco l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Switzerland's economy showed no growth on the quarter from July to September, following a 0.6 percent expansion in the previous three months and missing market consensus of a 0.3 percent growth. While domestic demand and investment grew, government expenditure shrank and the net trade balance contributed negatively as imports rose and exports declined.

In the third quarter, household consumption rose 0.1 percent, after remaining unchanged in the previous quarter. In contrast, government expenditure shrank 0.1 percent, swinging from a 1.7 percent expansion in the preceding three months.

Investment in equipment increased by  0.5 percent, compared to a 0.9 percent decline in the June quarter, driven primarily by research and development as well as machinery. Investment in construction also expanded 0.5 percent, after falling 0.2 percent previously.

Exports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold and valuables) decreased by 0.2 percent, the same pace as in the preceding quarter. Sales fell for precision instrumens, watches and jewellery. In contrast, positive contributions came from chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Imports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold and valuables) rose 0.2 percent, slowing from a 0.5 percent increase in the June quarter.

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.3 percent, slowing from a 2.0 percent growth in the June quarter and below consensus of a 1.8 percent growth. 




Tuesday November 22 2016
Switzerland Trade Surplus Narrows to 6-Month Low
Swiss Customs Administration l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Switzerland trade surplus fell to CHF 2.67 billion in October of 2016 from CHF 4.01 billion a year earlier and missing market expectations of a surplus CHF 3.89 billion. It was the smallest surplus since April, as exports fell while imports rose.

Year-on-year, sales declined by 5.6 percent to CHF 17.8 billion, mainly due to machinery and electronics (-9.9 percent), watches (-16.4 percent), precision instruments (-4.6 percent), metals (-3.2 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (-29.2 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (-6.1 percent), vehicles (-26.6 percent), plastic products (-9.3 percent) and paper and graphic products (-5.5 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments went up for: chemicals and pharmaceuticals (+2.0 percent) and textiles, clothing and footwear (+13.8 percent). Among major trade partners, sales werlower to Euro zone (-3.8 percent), the EU countries (-2.7 percent) and Africa (-10.0 percent). In contreast, sales rose to the US (+1.1 percent), China (+18.5 percent), Japan (+5.1 percent) and Australia (+0.7 percent).

Purchases increased by 1.8 percent to CHF 15.10 billion, driven by chemicals and pharmaceuticals (+13.1 percent); textiles, clothing and footwear (+11.2 percent) and jewelry and bijouterie (+2.8 percent). In contrast, imports fell for: machinery and electronics (-1.5 percent), vehicles (-0.4 percent), metals (-2.2 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (-1.4 percent), energy products (-16.7 percent), plastic products (-1.8 percent), watches (-0.9 percent) and paper and graphic products (-5.6 percent).

In September 2016, trade surplus was marginally  revised to CHF 4.33 billion.


Tuesday November 08 2016
Swiss Jobless Rate Steady for 3rd Month at 3.2%
Seco l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss unadjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.2 percent in October of 2016, the same as in the previous two months and in line with market estimates. The number of unemployed was virtually stable while that of jobseekers rose slightly.

In October, there were 144,531 unemployed persons enrolled at the regional employment centers, about 1,856 more persons than in the previous month. Compared to the same month a year earlier, unemployment increased by3,262 persons (+0.1 percent). 

The number of jobseekers reached 207,512, an increase of 3,944 persons compared with September while it increased by 6,592 compared with the same period last year.

Youth unemployment (15 to 24 year old) decreased by 932 persons to 19,095. Compared with October 2015, this represents a decrease of 715 people (-0.1 percent).

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


Monday November 07 2016
Swiss Consumer Prices Drop for 24th Straight Month
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss consumer prices declined by 0.2 percent in the year to October 2016, the same as in September and worse than market expectations of no change. It was the 24th straight month of deflation, as prices of health and transportation fell further while cost of housing and food rose at a faster pace.

Compared with October 2015, cost of health dropped 0.6 percent, following a 0.5 percent decrease in September, and transport prices dropped 2.4 percent, after declining by 1.9 percent the previous month. Additional downward pressure came from: Miscellaneous goods and services (-1.8 percent); and furnishings and household equipment (-1 percent). By contrast, prices of housing and utilities advanced 0.3 percent, following a 0.1 percent gain in September; and cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages went up 0.8 percent, after rising by 0.6 percent the precedent month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, the same pace as in the previous month, mainly due to higher prices of clothing and footwear (+3.3 percent) and housing and utilities (+0.2 percent); while cost fell for transport (-0.4 percent) and food (-0.3 percent).