Global industry is weighing down Swiss SMEs


(17.04.2024) Economic recovery struggles persist in Switzerland. Raiffeisen's SME PMI dipped below the growth threshold in March 2024, with 47.9 points compared to February's 50.0. This downturn is largely attributed to decreased activity among industrial firms.

The overall index has failed to remain sustainably above the expansion threshold for nearly two years. In December 2023, it rose to 50.9 points, driven by increased production and employment (56.1 and 55.6, respectively). However, both metrics have since slipped back into contraction territory.

Notably, production capacity utilization continued to decline, resulting in a rise in SMEs reporting decreased output in March. The corresponding component plummeted to 45.7 points, down from 49.0 in February. Employment also saw a significant drop of 1.8 points to 46.3, marking its lowest level in three years.

Even the "order book" component – currently the sole indicator above the expansion threshold – saw a substantial decline in March (50.7 / -4.5 points). Fewer SMEs reported growth in their order books during this period.

Despite a slight uptick in March (+0.7 points to 48.1), delivery times have also decreased over recent months, remaining below the growth threshold for a year. This trend reflects underutilization of production capacities.

The economic landscape remains challenging for Swiss SMEs, primarily due to sluggish foreign demand. With the exception of the pharmaceutical industry, all sectors have experienced a slowdown in exports. Despite some signs of improvement in the global industry, overall growth remains stagnant. Consequently, the study's authors foresee no significant recovery in the foreseeable future.


Last modification 17.04.2024

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