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Swiss economy stays strong in first quarter

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Swiss economy stays strong in first quarter
Seco offices in Bern. Photo: Federal Department of Economic Afairs, Education and Research
09:54 CEST+02:00
The Swiss economy continued to show strength in the first three months of this year, growing 0.5 percent from the previous quarter, government figures released on Wednesday show.

The country’s Gross Domestic Product grew at a rate of two percent compared to the same period in 2013, the state secretariat for economic affairs said.

The economy was aided by a positive trade balance in goods and services, investments in construction, and strong performances from industry, the wholesale sector and financial services, Seco said.

Household consumption and non-profit organization expenditures rose only marginally by 0.1 percent.

Expenditures linked to housing and transport actually declined, Seco said.

General government and social security spending also dipped by 0.8 percent from the previous quarter.

Exports of goods (excluding precious metals, jewellery and gems, as well as works of art and antiques) rose by two percent, Seco said.

The increase was driven largely by higher exports of chemicals and pharmaceuticals and vehicles, according to the statistics.

 Exports of services expanded by 1.3 percent, while imports of services declined by the same amount.

The Seco report showed that household consumption prices have been falling for 10 quarters, a reflection of the country’s low inflation rate coupled with its strong currency.

A group of experts for the federal government predicted a few weeks ago that the Swiss economy would expand by 2.2 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2015, following two percent growth in 2013.

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