World Economy

Swiss Growth Weakest Since 2009

Swiss Growth Weakest Since 2009Swiss Growth Weakest Since 2009

Switzerland’s economy grew at its slowest annual rate in nearly eight years during the second quarter, government data showed on Tuesday, as tepid public spending and weaker foreign trade weighed on the export-reliant country.

Year-on-year economic output growth halved to 0.3% from the 0.6% rate at the start of the year, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said, Reuters reported.

Output increased by 0.3% in April to June compared with the first three months of the year, SECO said. The figure, which missed the average estimate of 0.5% in the Reuters poll, was up from a downwardly revised 0.1% during the first quarter.

“Manufacturing, the financial sector and the hotel and catering industry significantly boosted growth while developments in trade, public administration and the healthcare sector were sluggish,” SECO said in a statement.

The hotel and catering industry grew 3.4% and the financial sector grew 2.7% in the second quarter, while trade contracted 0.2% and public administration slipped 0.1%, characterized by the secretariat as “sluggish”.

Switzerland’s trade balance shrank during the quarter, weighing on the country which derives roughly two-thirds of its economic activity from selling products abroad.

While exports of goods slightly increased, exports of services like patents and licenses declined, SECO said. Meanwhile goods imports rose sharply, driven by a considerable growth in imports of chemical and pharmaceutical products.

In June the Swiss government lowered its forecast for 2017 economic growth to 1.4% from 1.6%, saying recent improvements had fallen short of expectations.


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