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SWITZERLAND: Swiss franc and foreign trade under pressure

The 2019 GDP-growth outlook remains modest (1.3%), despite a robust growth in the first quarter (+0,6% q/q), mainly supported by private consumption (thanks to strong labour market) and capital investment. This growth weakened significantly in the second quarter. The global economy weakening and the strengthening of the franc against the euro are restraining foreign trade with further considerable uncertainty on investment activities.

The manufacturing PMI fell into contractionary territory in April and further tumbled to a near seven-year low in July (44,7), while the KOF economic barometer deteriorated during the quarter. Corporate sentiment is progressively deteriorating and giving a clear sign of slowing growth. Meanwhile, a sharp contraction in retail sales in May states decreasing private consumption in the 2nd quarter, although a falling unemployment rate should cushion a slowdown. Robust private spending and recently approved corporate-tax reforms should sustain growth.

Disagreements with the EU over the stalled framework agreement, designed to more closely align Swiss and EU regulations, led the EU to let Switzerland’s stock-exchange equivalence expire on June 30. Eventual dispute with the EU presents a key downside risk to the business confidence and the outlook.

A 0.6% inflation rate is expected for the whole year, in line with its level since the beginning of this year. Yields on Swiss government bonds fell to their lowest level since 2016.  

The economy grows below the long-term trend and political uncertainty due to trade tensions persists. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) should not raise interest rates unless the ECB does so first. Interest rates should remain unchanged until 2021. Since the trend in interest rates remains unclear, the franc should weaken only slightly against the euro over the next 12 months after the appreciation of this summer (from 1.14 to 1.09 CHF/€) which caused the SNB interventions in currency markets.

 

September 2019

ECSA Chemicals AG
Burgauerstrasse 17
CH-9230 Flawil (Switzerland)

Via Luigi Favre 16
CH-6828 Balerna (Switzerland) 

T. +41582119100
F. +41582119101

CHE-103.950.878

ECSA Maintenance AG
Burgauerstrasse 17 
CH-9230 Flawil (Switzerland)

Via Luigi Favre 16 
CH-6828 Balerna (Switzerland)

T. +41582119300
F. +41582119301

CHE-480.131.332

ECSA Energy SA
Via Luigi Favre 16 
CH-6828 Balerna (Switzerland)

T. +41582119500
F. +41582119501

CHE-356.953.942

ECSA ITALIA Srl Società
con Unico Socio
Via Lavoratori Autobianchi 1 
I-20832 Desio (MB)
(Stabile n. 15 - Polo Tecnologico della Brianza)

T. +39 0362 625 421
F. +39 0362 304 361

P.IVA IT00222470130

Codice destinatario: C1QQYZR

Porta Ticino Easy Stop SA
Via San Giorgio 37
CH-6877 Coldrerio

T. +41582119910
F. +41582119911

CHE-477.597.888

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