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SME Export Outlook Q2 2016: If Germany's healthy, Swiss exports prosper

For Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Germany is of central importance as an export market and, according to a survey by Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), the majority of Swiss companies expect it to become more important in the medium term. For 2016, Credit Suisse expects robust growth in Germany from which Swiss SMEs are also likely to benefit. Overall sentiment among the export-oriented Swiss SMEs at the start of the second quarter of 2016 has brightened again compared to the previous quarter.

Credit Suisse senior economist Bettina Rutschi says: “Despite a somewhat turbulent start to the year, Germany should see an above-potential growth rate again of 1.5% in 2016, mainly driven by the domestic economy. Sectors that are more dependent on countries where demand for goods and services is faltering (particularly emerging markets) are likely to face more headwinds. Given Germany’s relatively stable growth prospects, the market opportunities for Swiss exporters are also still intact. Moreover, the Swiss franc is slightly weaker than the year before, which should increase the price competitiveness of Swiss products again slightly – also for other non-German export markets. We also expect total foreign demand for Swiss products to be robust in the coming months.”

Alberto Silini, Head of Consulting at Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), says: “Despite the need to develop export markets outside of the euro area, Germany is and will remain the most important market for Swiss SMEs, even after all the currency and economic fluctuations – not just because of proximity, but because it is one of the strongest economies in the world. It is also worthwhile for SMEs to continue being active in Germany because of the large investments that will be made there in digitalization and “Industry 4.0,” from which Swiss suppliers can also benefit. We particularly recommend focusing more on digitalization of distribution and marketing, regardless of the sector, because these channels are becoming increasingly important in Germany.

Further information on the SME export outlook for the second quarter of 2016 can be found in the brochure enclosed in the attachment or downloaded at: www.s-ge.com/exportperspektiven

The SME Export Outlook for the third quarter of 2016 will be published on 12 July 2016.