Swiss KOF Leading Indicator At 7-Month High Suggests Less Gloom

A leading indicator for Switzerland’s economy rose at the start of the year, for a second month in a row, to its highest level in seven months reflecting a less gloomier outlook, survey data from the Zurich-based KOF Swiss Economic Institute showed Monday.

The KOF Economic Barometer gained 5.7 points to reach a level of 97.2 in January. Economists had forecast a score of 93.3.

The December reading was revised to 91.5 from 92.2.

The January score was the highest since June last year, when the reading was 98.1.

“It nonetheless remains below its medium-term average,” the KOF said.

“But the outlook for the Swiss economy at the beginning of the year is considerably less gloomy than it was in autumn last year.”

Read more: Swiss Trade Surplus Shrinks In 2022 As Export Growth Slows

All sub-indexes of the survey improved in January. Notable gains were made in the indexes in manufacturing, hospitality and the services sectors.

The indicators for the further demand situation and production are developing particularly positively, the institute said.

Meanwhile, the indicators for employment development and the competitive situation were practically unchanged from the previous month.

In December, the Swiss National Bank said the weaker global demand and high energy prices would curb economic activity in 2023 and projected a markedly weaker growth of around 0.5 percent for this year.

Exports, a main factor for the Swiss economy, grew a modest 0.1 percent in 2022, which was significantly slower than the 9.5 percent increase in the previous year.

The central bank also said it will not rule out more rate hikes in the SNB policy rate that will be necessary to ensure price stability over the medium term as inflation remains high.

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