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SME Export Indicator Q4 2015: Cautious hope

After slipping to an all-time low in the prior quarter, business sentiment among Swiss export-oriented SMEs has improved a bit. The Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) export outlook indicator has climbed back to a level slightlyabove the expansion threshold. The SMEs surveyed by S-GE reported a greater intention to venture into new, lucrative export markets. The Credit Suisse Export Barometer is signaling robust foreign demand. The mild easing of the exchange-rate situation should enable Swiss enterprises to profit more from this demand impetus than they could in thefirst three quarters of 2015.

KMU-Exportindikator 4. Quartal 2015: Vorsichtige Hoffnung

Credit Suisse senior economist Bettina Rutschi says: “Stepped-up demand for Swiss products is currently coming mainly from the Eurozone, the UK and the USA. Moreover, the currency exchange rate situation appears to have eased to some extent. The Swiss franc intermittently traded at parity against the euro earlier this year, but the EUR/CHF exchange rate has since settled into a holding pattern around the 1.10 mark. Given the sluggish economic activity and broad price declines, we believe that the Swiss National Bank is regularly buying foreign currencies at the moment to weaken the franc, though its purchase volumes are small.”

Switzerland Global Enterprise Head of Consultancy Alberto Silini says: “Swiss SMEs are heading into the final quarter of 2015 with cautious hope, probably due in part to the somewhat better Swiss franc/euro exchange rate. The months ahead will reveal whether this marks a genuine trend reversal for Swiss ex-porters, which nonetheless are still under heavy cost and margin pressure. Meanwhile, looking for new, lucrative export markets is becoming an increasingly important item on Swiss exporters’ agendas. They are thus positioning themselves to gain a long-term ability to better counterbalance currency and cyclical risk. Diversification is the best means of crisis management.”

All details on the SME Export Indicator can be found in the brochure here.

Hear further explanations and commentary in a video interview with Bettina Rutschi and Alberto Silini:

The SME Export Indicator for the first quarter of 2016 will be sent out on January 19, 2016.

 

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