Covid-19 spoils the start of the year in Switzerland

10 Feb 2021 00:00 Economy

While the Swiss economy were looking rather optimistic and showed a surprisingly strong growth in autumn last year, the ongoing pandemic at the start of 2021 is putting a damper on things in our neighbouring country. This is reported by Karin Lengenfelder, Port of Hamburg Marketing representative in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland.

The second wave of Covid-19 in the winter 2020/2021 is still weighing on the Swiss economy. Accordingly, the forecasted growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for 2021 has been revised downwards from 4.1 to 3.4 percent. This value corresponds roughly to the loss of GDP in the crisis year 2020.

The economic barometer of the KOF Swiss Economic Institute drops considerably in January. For the first time since July last year, it falls below its long-​term average. After reaching an interim pandemic high in September, COVID-​19 is now weighing more heavily on the economy again. The pandemic is causing gloomy economic prospects at the beginning of the year. The KOF Economic Barometer drops to 96.5 points in January and thus below its long-​term average of 100. This is a decline of 7.6 points compared to the previous month.

Responsible for the decline are in particular the indicator bundles for accommodation and food service activities as well as other services. But the outlook for manufacturing, financial and insurance services and private consumer demand is also less favourable than before. In the goods producing sector (manufacturing and construction), the indicators for almost all aspects relevant to the business cycle are weakening, including for the purchase of intermediate products, the business situation, export opportunities, orders on hand and production. Only the indicators for the national and international competitive situation developed noticeably positively.

In the manufacturing sector, the electrical, metal and textile industries as well as the paper industry are feeling a stronger headwind. However, there are also areas where the indicators have developed positively. Specifically, these are the machinery industry, the wood, glass, stone and earth industry and the food and beverage industry.

Covid-19 spoils the start of the year in Switzerland