GDP has even risen above the level of 2019. (archive image)
The previous GDP estimate, which was published by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) at the end of May, only calculated growth of 3.8 percent. However, the decline in GDP in the corona year 2020 of 2.4 percent is unchanged in the new calculation.
Thanks to the strong upswing last year, GDP in 2021 even exceeded the 2019 level again, the Federal Statistical Office (BFS) announced on Tuesday. This despite the fact that some areas continued to suffer from the pandemic. Spending on leisure and culture as well as on restaurants and package tours continued to be affected, while spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages, furniture and household goods, but also clothing and shoes rose again.
According to the latest BFS figures, consumer spending rose again by 1.6 percent after a significant decline (-4.1%) in the year before last in 2021, but did not reach the level of 2019. Compared to the May Seco estimate, the 2020 decline was more pronounced and the recovery weaker.
When it comes to investment, the picture is somewhat different. Although they also fell sharply in 2020 at -3.1 percent, they recovered very significantly last year (+4.2%). According to the BFS, the most important drivers were the sharp rise in investments in equipment (+8.1%), which also grew much more strongly than according to the Seco estimate (+4.7%).
The sharp rise in the trade balance surplus, which was again well above the pre-corona level, was also positive for GDP in 2021. On the one hand, the level of foreign trade increased in general, on the other hand, exports in goods trade (+11.5%) grew more strongly than imports (+4.7%). However, these figures do not deviate significantly from the first estimates.
In terms of value added, industry in particular grew strongly in 2021 (+11.4%) and thus slightly more than the first estimate. After a difficult year in 2020, non-financial services also recorded a significant increase in value added. On the other hand, some activities such as hospitality and creative activities continued to suffer from the effects of the pandemic.
With an increase of 5.2 percent, financial services supported the Swiss economy overall in 2021. While banks posted strong value-added growth (+12%) for the second year in a row, private insurance (-3.8%) struggled with the impact of the pandemic and natural disasters.
On a nominal basis and thus including price changes, Swiss GDP increased by +5.3 percent in 2021. The so-called gross national income (GNI) at current prices, which measures the sum of the incomes of resident companies and households (ie excluding foreign cross-border commuters, for example), increased by a similarly strong rate of +5.4 percent.