Welder symbolizes the development of production in the manufacturing sector; Source: iStock.com/Tony Tremblay

© iStock.com/Tony Tremblay

According to the Federal Statistical Office, output in the goods-producing sector grew by 1.0 % in March compared with the preceding month. Industrial output rose by 1.1 % and construction sector output by 0.6 %. Within the industrial sector, the manufacturers of capital goods were prominent with a rise of 2.6 %. Output of intermediate goods fell by 0.6 %, and production of consumer goods expanded by 1.1 %.

In the first quarter as a whole, output in both industry and construction rose slightly about the level of the preceding quarter, by +0.1% in each case. Within the industrial sector, the manufacturers of consumer and capital goods recorded increases of 2.0 % and 0.2 % respectively, whilst 0.9 % fewer intermediate goods were produced.

Following the sharp growth seen in the course of 2017, output in the goods-producing sector took a breather in the first quarter. New orders and business expectations in the industrial sector also softened a little. The upswing is continuing, especially in view of special factors in the first quarter like a higher number of strikes, the wave of influenza and the position of the Easter holidays, all of which presumably impacted output. The overall external economic environment is positive, the stock of orders is at a record level, and the business climate is above average. The news from the construction industry proper is also tending to be positive. Following a calmer period, output in the goods-producing industry will therefore pick up speed again in the course of this year.

-------------------------------------

[1] Press release by the Federal Statistical Office of 8 May 2018.
[2] All figures are based on provisional data and have been adjusted for price, calendar day and seasonal factors (X13 JDemetra+ procedure).