Swiss economy shrinks as exports slump

Swiss gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2009 has fallen by 0.8 per cent on the previous three months, its worst quarterly performance since 1992.

This content was published on June 2, 2009 - 09:37

Negative growth was registered in particular in exports, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) on Tuesday.

The year on year drop was 2.4 per cent, the sharpest contraction since the first quarter of 1976.

"The 2.4 per cent drop in GDP is not very upbeat, confirming the Swiss economy is still feeling the heat of global economic slowdown," said UBS analyst Reto Hünerwadel. "But it is still comparably solid compared with other European economies."

A "noteworthy" rise in spending, said Seco, was observed only in the fields of healthcare and communications. In contrast, spending declined in the sectors for clothing, furniture, transport and financial and insurance services.

Construction continued its downward trend, dropping one per cent.

The decrease in exports of goods and services, at 5.4 per cent, continued at a slower pace. Exports of goods (-6.6 per cent) were again more seriously affected than exports of services (-2.3 per cent). In contrast to exports, imports of goods and services remained at the same level as the previous quarter.

Switzerland slipped into recession last summer and the Swiss National Bank forecasts an economic contraction of up to three per cent in 2009, which would be the worst decline in over 30 years, after an overall growth of 1.6 per cent in 2008. with agencies

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