SECO Raises Swiss GDP Outlook

The State Secretariat For Economic Affairs on Thursday raised Switzerland's economic projections for 2013 and 2014 citing strong domestic demand.

In the Autumn forecast, the expert group raised the economic estimate for 2013 to 1.8 percent from 1.4 percent, saying that the key factor is stronger dynamic of the domestic economy.

The think tank said private consumption in particular has been providing strong support for the economy for several quarters. Consequently, private spending growth projection was upgraded to 2.4 percent from 2 percent, while government expenditure outlook was lowered to 1.3 percent from 1.4 percent.

The picture in investment in construction is also positive even though capacity constraints and the effects of the weather have temporarily put a break on the upward dynamic, the think tank said. It confirmed construction investment growth at 2 percent.

Exports and imports are forecast to expand 1.2 percent and 1.1 percent respectively this year. In June, it estimated 1.6 percent rise in exports and 1.2 percent growth for imports.

The agency noted that the positive developments in the economy are supported by the steady level of immigration, low interest rates and absence of inflation. Moreover, there were increasing signs of an early positive upswing in exports.

For 2014, growth is likely to strengthen further to 2.3 percent from 2.1 percent due to improved prospects for exports, together with continuing robust domestic demand, it said.

As the economy firms up, the group sees a gradual downward reversal in the unemployment trend next year. The jobless rate is seen at 3.2% both this year and in 2014.

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