Gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2023: Swiss economy again shows moderate growth

by | 29 Feb 2024 | Economy

Switzerland’s GDP adjusted for sporting events grew moderately in the fourth quarter of 2023 (+0.3%), continuing the below-average growth of the previous quarter (+0.3%).* The development differed among individual economic sectors and expenditure-side components.


Following a positive previous quarter, value added in manufacturing (−0.1%) dipped somewhat, driven by the chemical and pharmaceutical industry falling into negative territory (−2.3%) on the back of declining exports. The other industrial sectors, however, grew again following two negative quarters. In addition, value added in the energy sector (+4.3%) rose. Hydropower plants in particular contributed to this with their increased electricity production.

The services sector once again provided significant support for GDP growth. As incoming tourism continued to recover, the accommodation and food services sector (+3.5%) recorded significant growth in value added.

Increased travel also benefited the transport and communication sector (+0.4%). In addition, business-related services (+0.3%), health and social care services (+1.4%) and public administration (+0.7%) achieved above-average growth rates.

Finally, thanks to a strong increase in commission business, financial services (+1.0%) returned to substantial growth after several weak quarters. This was accompanied by a moderate increase in services exports** (+0.7%), similar to goods exports*** (+0.5%).

In the fourth quarter domestic final demand (−0.3%) declined slightly once again. This is mainly due to a significant and broad-based dip in investments in equipment (−2.5%). Construction investment (−0.3%) also fell, and with it value added in the construction industry (−0.2%). Private consumption grew slightly below average (+0.3%), supported by the areas of housing, health, mobility and foreign travel. By contrast, less was spent on food and other goods in the retail sector. In both retail (−0.3%) and trade (−1.0%), value added declined in the fourth quarter. Like domestic demand, imports**** of goods and services were also weak (+0.7%) after adjusting for sporting events.

Initial results for 2023

Provisional results indicate that GDP growth in 2023 was 1.3% adjusted for seasonal, calendar and sporting events, after 2.5% in the previous year. The slowdown in growth is related to the process of normalisation following the COVID-19 crisis. The challenging international environment also weighed on economic development.