World Economy

Swiss Economy Expands More Than Forecast

Swiss Economy Expands More Than ForecastSwiss Economy Expands More Than Forecast

Switzerland’s economy expanded more than forecast in the third quarter, outpacing neighboring Germany thanks to consumption by households and the public sector.

Gross domestic product increased 0.6 percent in the three months through end September, after a revised 0.3 percent in the second quarter, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said in a statement Wednesday. That’s more than the 0.3 percent median of 17 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Thanks in part to the Swiss National Bank’s currency cap, Switzerland has managed to sustain its economic growth in the face of the malaise in the euro area, the destination for about half of its exports.

The European Central Bank meets Thursday to discuss whether more needs to be done to revive the 18-nation currency bloc. That could raise pressure on the SNB’s minimum exchange rate of 1.20 per euro, set three years ago.

Today’s data is “astoundingly good,” said Roland Klaeger, economist at Raiffeisen Schweiz in Zurich. Still, “for the SNB it doesn’t really make a difference – the ECB is really determining the tempo.”

Swiss household consumption increased 0.6 percent in the quarter, with construction investment climbing 0.8 percent and general government consumption rising 0.9 percent. Exports of goods increased by 2.8 percent, with the strongest positive contribution “by far” coming from the chemical and pharmaceutical sector.