Swiss Economy Grew Most in Four Decades After Curbs Lifted
(Bloomberg) -- The Swiss economy grew the most since at least 1980 in the third quarter as business activity recovered from shutdowns to stem the coronavirus crisis.
Gross domestic product increased 7.2%, driven by a surge in consumption and investment in equipment and construction. That compares with a forecast of 6% in a Bloomberg survey of economists and follows a slump of 7% in the previous three months.
The third-quarter bounce left the economy about 2% smaller than before the pandemic, much less than the gaps seen across major euro-area countries.
“Compared with neighboring countries, the Swiss economy has made it through the coronavirus crisis relatively unscathed so far,” the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.
Many European economies experienced a strong third-quarter bounce as shops and restaurants reopened following restrictions during the first wave of the pandemic. In the euro area, some of that progress is at risk of becoming undone amid fresh curbs to contain the disease.
Switzerland may avoid another contraction in the final quarter of 2020 after the government decided against a second wide-scale lockdown, and furlough programs have kept a lid on joblessness.
Purchasing Managers Index data also published on Tuesday showed manufacturing recovering further in November, helped by demand from Asia. The service sector by contrast was hurt last month due to the pandemic.
Still, the country’s economy is due to suffer its deepest dive since the 1970s this year, and the outlook is subdued. Reports by the KOF Swiss Economic Institute found that there had been a rise in insolvencies after a government suspension of filings expired, and that many self-employed workers had little financial cushion.
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