Economy gains ground at the end of 2010

The Swiss economy picked up in the fourth quarter of last year as the export of goods defied the high value of the franc.

This content was published on March 1, 2011 - 10:41 and agencies

Gross Domestic Product grew by 0.9 per cent compared with the previous quarter, according to a statement on Tuesday from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

The Swiss National Bank, which has forecast a slowdown of growth to about 1.5 per cent this year from the 2.6 per cent in 2010, holds its next policy review on March 17.

Exports of goods rose 2.4 per cent in the period from October to December. But the franc’s strength was reflected by exports in services, which fell 5.8 per cent in the period.

“A positive surprise, exports have risen particularly well and it is also pleasing that domestic demand is strong,” said Janwillem Acket, chief economist at Bank Julius Bär.

“There was some weakness in service partly also due to tourism,” he told Reuters news agency.

GDP increased by 3.1 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, beating the forecast of 2.8 per cent.

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