Swiss Economic Growth to Slow More Than Expected: Survey

Switzerland’s economic growth will slow more than expected this year, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Gross domestic product is seen rising 0.3 percent in the three months through June 30 before growing 0.4 percent each in the third and the fourth quarter, according to the median forecast of 25 analysts in Bloomberg’s quarterly survey on the Swiss economy, which was carried out April 5-10. In a March survey, economists saw GDP growing 0.4 percent in the second quarter, 0.5 percent in the third and 0.5 percent in the final quarter of this year. The economists see growth of 1.2 percent for 2013, unchanged from last month’s prediction.

Swiss output growth slowed to 1 percent in 2012 as the fiscal crisis in the euro area, its biggest trading partner, hurt the country’s export-led economy. The Swiss National Bank, which set a cap of 1.20 per euro on the franc in September 2011 to ward off deflation and a recession, expects GDP to expand as much as 1.5 percent this year.

In the survey, the economists said GDP probably rose 0.2 percent in the three months through March 31, unchanged from the previous survey. The Swiss government will release first-quarter GDP figures on May 30.

Consumer prices, which have fallen on an annual basis for the past 18 months and probably declined 0.3 percent in the first quarter of this year, are forecast to be flat in 2013, lower than the 0.2 percent predicted in March, according to the survey. Inflation is predicted to average 0.8 percent in 2014 and 1.3 percent in 2015, the survey shows.

Unemployment, which held at a two-year high of 3.1 percent in March, is expected to rise to 3.2 percent in the third quarter and to 3.3 percent in the final three months of 2013, according to the survey.

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