BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Switzerland's economic growth projection for 2017 was downgraded as activity turned out disappointingly weak in the second half of last year.
In the Spring forecast, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said the economic growth will improve to 1.6 percent, underpinned by domestic demand. However, the estimate was weaker than the 1.8 percent expansion projected in December.
The expert group of the federal government forecast 1.9 percent growth for 2018, unchanged from prior estimate.
The most recent data is indicating accelerated growth in the near future, SECO said. Growth is forecast to step up significantly over the coming quarters, largely offsetting the lack of momentum at the turn of 2017.
Private consumption should gain strength against the back-drop of a recovering job market and steady population growth. The increased optimism amongst Swiss companies suggests that investments in equipment will expand moderately over the forecast period.
The trend is set to return to more moderate growth rates in 2017 and 2018 to some extent, the SECO noted.
The agency also expects the job market to benefit from the economic recovery, anticipating, as before, that unemployment will drop to 3.2 percent in 2017 and 3.1 percent in 2018.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX