Switzerland: Economic barometer edges down in March
March 31, 2014
The KOF economic barometer-a leading indicator for future GDP growth-inched down from 2.03 points in February to 1.99 points in March. The reading undershot the 2.03 points the market had expected and represented the first fall in the index after 11 consecutive months of improvement. In its accompanying statement, the KOF Institute noted that, despite the slight decrease in the barometer, “it continues to signal a favourable outlook for the growth of Swiss Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the near future.”
March's slight drop reflected a decline in the core GDP sub-indicator (GDP excluding construction and banking). In line with the weakening in the core GDP sub-component, the Banking sub-indicator also deteriorated slightly in March. The construction sub-gauge was subdued in March.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) expects the economy to expand 2.3% in 2014. The Swiss National Bank expects economic growth to reach nearly 2.0% in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect GDP to expand 2.1% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's projection. For 2015, the panel expects economic growth to accelerate slightly to 2.2%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist