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Financial News: SECO Cuts Swiss GDP Forecast

SECO Cuts Swiss GDP Forecast

06/20/2017 - 02:27:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Swiss economy is projected to expand at a slightly slower pace this year, according to the quarterly economic forecast published by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

The expert group of SECO on Tuesday said gross domestic product will grow only 1.4 percent this year instead of 1.6 percent estimated previously. At the same time, projection for 2018 was retained at 1.9 percent.

A further marked increase in economic momentum is to be expected over the coming quarters given the promising outlook for the global economy and positive leading indicators, SECO said.

Domestic demand is expected to be a key pillar of growth this year and next. Following a rather subdued development in 2015 and 2016, consumption is forecast to grow more dynamically.

Due to low interest rates and a persistently high demand for real estate, investment in construction also looks set to gain a little momentum, SECO added.

Foreign trade is forecast to continue growing at a moderate pace in 2017 and 2018, with the trade balance providing somewhat positive impact on growth.

After the economic downturn due to the appreciation of the Swiss franc, the turnaround on the job market has already begun to solidify, the government noted.

Underpinned by oil prices, inflation in Switzerland is returning to normal, the agency said. The expert group maintained its 2017 inflation projection at 0.5 percent and the outlook for next year was lowered slightly to 0.2 percent from 0.3 percent.

The SECO observed that the turnaround on the job market has already begun to solidify. The agency forecast the jobless rate to fall to 3.2 percent in 2017 and then to 3.1 percent in 2018.

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