SWITZERLAND: Switzerland’s economy expanded at a slightly faster pace in the first quarter, data from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs showed Thursday. Gross domestic product grew 0.3 percent sequentially, faster than the revised 0.2 percent growth seen in the fourth quarter. However, the pace of expansion was weaker than the expected 0.5 percent.
On a yearly basis, GDP growth accelerated to 1.1 percent from 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter. Economists had forecast an annual growth of 1.3 percent. On the expenditure side, household consumption improved slightly by 0.1 percent on quarter, while government spending rose moderately by 0.4 percent. Following the previous quarter’s fall, investment in equipment and software rose 1.7 percent and that in construction gained 0.4 percent. Imports of goods slid 1.5 percent, while services imports grew 5.7 percent. At the same time, exports of goods recovered 3.9 percent and shipment of services climbed 3.2 percent.