Switzerland: KOF economic barometer rebounds in March, but continues to signal below average growth in the months ahead
March 29, 2019
The KOF economic barometer—a leading composite indicator for the Swiss economy forecasting a six-month period—rose to 97.4 points in March from a revised 93.0 points in February (previously reported: 92.4 points), ending five months of consecutive declines. Nevertheless, the indicator remains below the series’ long-run average of 100 points, suggesting the economy will expand at a softer pace in the short-term than its 10-year average rate.
March’s recovery was primarily due to an improvement in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing firms were more optimistic about their primary products, output, backlogs of work and general business conditions in March, and the KOF Swiss Economic Institute noted the electronic sector positively contributed to the turnaround.
The KOF indicator has now been below the 100-point threshold for five months running and, while the recovery in March is a good sign, the Swiss economy continues to face intensifying headwinds of slower global growth and will likely cool in the first half of the year.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist