Swiss economy grew 1.8% in Q2 as easing restrictions help recovery
ZURICH, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The Swiss economy grew by 1.8% in the second quarter versus the first three months of 2020, as easing COVID-19 restrictions helped reverse two consecutive quarters of declines, official data showed on Thursday.
Swiss GDP grew even more strongly year on year, rising 7.7%, according to data from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), as easing pandemic restrictions helped boost private consumption and the services sector. ID:nS8N2MM003
"In the second quarter, total GDP was only 0.5% lower than the pre-crisis level seen in the fourth quarter of 2019," SECO said in a statement.
The Swiss government raised its economic growth forecast in June, as easing coronavirus restrictions helped boost confidence in the country's economic recovery and hopes GDP could surpass pre-crisis levels sooner. nS8N2MD0C0 It said Switzerland's economy is expected to grow by 3.6% this year.
It had contracted by 0.4% in the first quarter of 2021, as pandemic restrictions hit output. nL5N2NJ1OC
SECO on Thursday said service sectors that had been most affected by restrictions added the most value in the second quarter, with accommodation and food services up 48.9% and arts, entertainment and recreation up 52.9%, albeit both remaining below pre-crisis levels.
Inflation has also been picking up in Switzerland, with consumer prices rising 0.9% year-on-year in August and 0.2% compared with the month before, the Federal Statistics Office reported on Thursday. nS8N2PI02V
(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields)
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