Switzerland: KOF Barometer falls for 4 month

A measure reflecting Switzerland’s economic trends in advance fell for a fourth straight month in January, defying expectations for a modest improvement, survey data from the KOF Swiss Economic Institute showed on Wednesday.

The KOF Economic Barometer fell to 95 points from 96.4 points in December, which was revised from 96.3 points reported initially. Economists had forecast a score of 97.2 .

The index reading was 5 points below its long-term average.

The downward tendency that emerged at the end of last year continues and the economic outlook for Switzerland continues to dampen at the beginning of 2019, the KOF said.

The think tank attributed the latest renewed decline to negative developments within the manufacturing industry and the service industry as well as a weaker outlook for exports.

In contrast, indicators for the hotel and catering sector, the banking and insurance sector as well as the construction sector send positive signals, the KOF added.

U.S.-China trade tensions are causing a loss of momentum around the world, which is affecting Switzerland too. Spinning machine-maker Rieter Holding AG said on Wednesday that a drop orders was expected to hit business in 2019.

“Chinese customers and the Chinese textile industry is holding back investments based on the trade war,” Rieter’s Chief Executive Officer Norbert Klapper said.

Additionally, political strife in weighing on Europe and the International Monetary Fund predicts the global economy will grow at the weakest pace in three years in 2019.

Switzerland’s growth is set to slow to about 1.5 percent this year, according to the central bank, albeit following a particularly strong 2018.