Robots are revolutionizing the economy

Robots are revolutionizing the economy

The future is within our reach – More and more companies are betting on the automation of processes. The Credit Suisse Supertrend "Technology at the service of humans" promises great opportunities for investors. Thanks to robots, exciting automation opportunities that are permanently changing our lives are presenting themselves.

How automation is changing our lives

Both innovative companies and investors can no longer ignore the topic of automation. Opportunities as well as the possible loss of identity and jobs are heavily discussed. The use of robots is a development that has the potential to bring enormous economic growth.

Therefore, investments in the Supertrend "Technology at the service of humans" are worthwhile in the long term. The following examples show how new technology could soon change our lives.

Intelligent automation for better mobility

Cars that are connected to 5G will in the future have the ability to prevent traffic jams even without autonomous mobility. The economic giant China is leading the way. As a producer of commercial electric cars, China now has a global market share of 99 percent.

There, nearly 400,000 electric buses travel on specially designated roads that, thanks to intelligent control systems, allow for almost completely congestion-free transportation. And by the way: Swiss expertise is hiding under most of the hoods.

Automation solutions in agriculture

Agriculture is also seeing an increasing use of digitally integrated technologies with numerous automation solutions. Robots and drones complete repetitive tasks such as sowing, harvesting, and packing. They also help to keep resource use low.

Intelligent sensors and microchips from successful Swiss companies are helping to decrease water consumption by up to 50 percent. The technology is literally buried in the ground and linked with automatic watering systems – "Made in Switzerland."

Robots are revolutionizing healthcare

Technology is sparking great optimism in the field of healthcare. Global companies such as Google, Amazon, and Apple, as well as startups, are getting into the healthcare business and intelligently capitalizing on their wealth of collected data.

The opportunity? By linking to medical software and the corresponding databases, the internet giants can support physicians and patients worldwide around the clock. At the same time, there is of course a risk behind every opportunity: In this case, it's the misuse of data and information.


Booming robot sales

Global annual sales of industrial robots in 2009–2017 and 2018–2021 (expected)

Source: International Federation of Robotics, 2018

Automation has its advantages: low costs and high growth

The cost factor has changed significantly: While many robots were previously unaffordable, today there are many flexible robots that are easy to use and available for a low cost. That's probably why sales of robots have doubled in the last five years.

For example, in the service industry, robots are used to transport goods to homes, for work in the kitchen, or even to care for the elderly. This service is in particularly high demand in high-wage countries and in ageing societies, i.e. Europe, Japan, and China.

Automation is creating new jobs

The consulting firm Deloitte estimates that by 2025, approximately 270,000 net new jobs will be created by the digitalization and automation of the Swiss economy. However, jobs must be eliminated in agriculture and in the operation of systems and machinery, as well as repetitive unskilled and office jobs.

The prospects for IT specialists, engineers, and academic professions where a combination of technical knowledge and social or organizational skills is required are very attractive.


How automation is affecting job growth

Probability of automation versus job growth, 2015–2025

Source: Deloitte

Automation solutions are increasing productivity

The fact that automation significantly increases productivity can be seen by looking at the corporate profit margins and the associated rise in wage income in the US since the mid-1990s. Thanks to the internet and email, processes were not only made easier, but also significantly accelerated. Thus, despite growing wages and below-average consumer price inflation, a higher profit margin was reached.

automation-brings-higher-profit margins

Higher profit margins thanks to innovative automation

Rising profit margins in the S&P 500

Source: Standard & Poors, IBES, Yardeni Research

Operating profit margins calculated from income figures from the S&P and IBES. Shaded areas designate recessions according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Past performance and financial market scenarios are not reliable indicators of future results.


Increasing real wages confirm the increase in productivity

Average hourly earnings, adjusted for purchasing power, for workers in the production industry.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Haver Analytics, Yardeni Research