Swiss 1Q GDP Contracts 0.8% as Exports, Business Investments Falter

Swiss Q1 GDP contracted by less than expected, declining by 0.8% q/q compared to our survey median for -1.5%. Meanwhile, the Q4 growth reading was revised down to -0.6% q/q from -0.3% initially. On the year, GDP growth was -2.4%, versus -0.6% in Q4. Hence, Swiss growth yet again surprised on the upside, and that the Swiss economy has proved somewhat more resilient than many of its European neighbors to the credit crunch and the global slowdown. Private consumption rose by 0.1% q/q, while public consumption increased by 1.4%, highlighting government efforts to boost the economy. Investment growth continued to contract for a fourth quarter, but the decline was less pronounced than in the previous two quarters, down 0.4% q/q. Exports fell by 5.4% q/q, not as sharp as in Q4, while imports were flat q/q.