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Export sentiment at Swiss SMEs weakens slightly

SME Export Outlook Q2 2019

Export sentiment among Suisse SMEs continues to weaken, but remains positive overall. 47% of Swiss SMEs expect rising exports in the second quarter, while 38% expect exports to stagnate. The latest survey by Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) on export sentiment and the Credit Suisse Export Barometer therefore confirm the downward trend of the last few quarters.

SME Export Outlook

The signs of a prolonged manufacturing downturn in Europe, particularly in Germany, are likely to be the main reason for the slight softening in SME expectations. Nonetheless, S-GE and Credit Suisse see the survey results as marking a return to normality.

Swiss SMEs regard "Swissness" as central to the success of their internationalization plans. A majority of the participating SMEs say that foreign customers value Swiss quality and many are willing to pay more for it. In the view of the SMEs, Switzerland's economic and political stability are its most important benefits as a business location.

Sascha Jucker, economist at Credit Suisse, comments: "Even if export expectations in Switzerland are falling slightly, foreign demand for Swiss products remains intact. The weaker industrial sentiment in Europe is also offset to some extent by the US, where sentiment is holding up better. The outlook for Swiss exporters therefore remains good."

Alberto Silini, Head of Consulting at Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), adds: "The slippage in export sentiment is not a cause for concern. Now is the time for exporters to build up their long-term positions in the various markets. Swiss quality is a trump card they can exploit to do so."

Further information on the SME export outlook for the second quarter of 2019 can be found in the attached brochure.

Video statements (in German) on current export sentiment by Sascha Jucker, Credit Suisse economist, and Alberto Silini, Head of Consulting at Switzerland Global Enterprise.

The SME Export Outlook for the third quarter of 2019 will be published on July 11, 2019.

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