Swiss economy may have grown in third quarter
However, the Swiss central bank says the expansion will not extend to the last quarter of this year or to the first half of 2009.4 December 2008
GENEVA – The Swiss economy is likely to have expanded in the third quarter, instead of going into reverse as feared, but the last three months of the year will probably be negative, the head of the central bank said Wednesday.
"It appears probable that Switzerland has escaped a contraction" in the third quarter, said Jean-Pierre Roth, chairman of the Swiss National Bank, a day ahead of official statistics for the period.
In the second quarter, the economy grew 0.4 percent compared to the three months to March.
Roth noted that Switzerland's performance in the third quarter was "surprising" given the importance of its financial services industry to the overall economy.
However, faced with a global slowdown, the country, which is largely dependent on exports, will soon slip into recession, Roth said.
"In the fourth quarter of this year and in the first half of 2009, a contraction appears very probable," he added.
[AFP / Expatica]