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Summary of the main economic information for Friday 5 August 2022

Zurich (awp) – Main economic news of the day:

CONDITIONS: The Swiss economy is still in good health, despite high inflation and geopolitical tensions. But companies are very cautious about the evolution of the business in the second half of the year. The situation of Swiss companies worsened slightly in July, but still remains significantly above the level recorded at the beginning of 2022, according to the latest survey by the KOF Institute of Economic Studies conducted among 4,500 companies.

HOTEL: The Swiss hotel industry recorded 16.9 million overnight stays in the first six months of 2022, up 47.3% compared to the first half of last year. A growing result thanks to the return of foreign tourists and constantly increasing Swiss demand, indicates the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). From January to June, customers from Switzerland totaled 10 million overnight stays, an increase of 8.0% compared to the same period of the previous year.

REAL ESTATE: Real estate market values ​​had mixed price movements in the second quarter. Rising office buildings face falling apartment buildings. According to a study by the firm Fahrländer Partner (FPRE), office buildings recorded a 3.0% increase in their valuation, while residential buildings recorded a decline of 1.6% and single-use buildings a meager increase. 0.2%.

FLAVORS AND FRAGRANCES: Aroma and fragrance giant Firmenich has completed its last fiscal year as an independent company at the top. In a context of inflation, the Genevan and soon Aargau company managed to pass on most of the cost increase to its customers. Returning to the ongoing merger of the Genevan family business with Dutch DSM, which should give birth to DSM-Firmenich, “leader in nutrition, beauty and wellness”, Gilbert Ghostine, managing director, said he insisted on the fundamentally Swiss character. of the new entity.

FOOD: World food prices fell sharply in July, pushed down by prices for grains and vegetable oil, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. After an all-time high reached in March following the invasion of Ukraine, the FAO Food Price Index, which tracks the change in international prices of a basket of commodities, fell by 8.6% in one month. , marking a fourth consecutive decline.

LABOR MARKET: The US labor market showed unexpected dynamism in July, returning to pre-pandemic level at a time when fighting inflation raises fears of a recession, good news for Joe Biden at months away from the crucial mid-term elections. The unemployment rate, as well as the total number of jobs in the country, returned to the level of February 2020, just before the economy was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

CONJUNCTION: The French trade deficit on goods rose to 71 billion euros (70 billion Swiss francs) in the first six months of the year, significantly degraded by the energy bill linked to the war in Ukraine, customs officials said. In June alone, the trade deficit widened by € 13.3 billion, which represents a new monthly record.

CONJUNCTION: Spanish industrial production continued to grow in June, driven by the good performance of the Spanish economy, despite the tensions on international markets, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). According to seasonal and calendar corrected data from the INE, production increased 1.1% in one month, after rising 2.3% in April and 0.1% in May.

INSURANCE: the insurance giant Allianz recorded a net profit in the first quarter down 23% to 1.7 billion euros and has seen its clients withdraw funds in asset management, which emerged from heavy litigation. Operating profit (Ebit) amounted to 3.5 billion euros (3.4 billion Swiss francs), up by 5%, exceeding the expectations of a panel of analysts interviewed by Factset.

REAL ESTATE: The struggling Chinese real estate giant Evergrande has canceled a contract to build a football stadium in a southern city and will receive a refund of 5.52 billion yuan (782.6 million Swiss francs). China’s former real estate number one, strangled by abysmal debt, is on the verge of bankruptcy. His arrears were estimated last year at around $ 300 billion (CHF 286.9 million).

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