Swiss economy to shrink 0.8 percent in 2009: ministry
Swiss economy ministry reaffirms earlier forecast made by Swiss National Bank and says recession will hit the country next year.ZURICH – Switzerland's economy will shrink by 0.8 percent in 2009 as the global economic crisis bites and unemployment rises, with a recovery not seen until 2010, the Economy Ministry said Tuesday.
Swiss GDP grew by 1.9 percent in 2008 but will fall into recession over the next 12 months before posting a 1.0 percent rise in 2010, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said.
SECO's forecast tallies with that of the Swiss National Bank, which said last Thursday the economy would shrink by between 0.5 and 1 percent in 2009.
"The situation has evolved dramatically since October, and we are faced with a serious situation," Economy Minister Doris Leuthard told a press conference.
"We are not yet in recession, but we will be," she said.
Unemployment is set to rise from an average of 2.6 percent in 2008 to 3.3 percent in 2009 and 4.3 percent in 2010, SECO said.
However the SECO economists said that "the probability of a long and deep global recession is limited" due to the international measures put in place to try and stabilise the international finance system.
Switzerland said last month it would inject some CHF 890 million into the country's economy to help stave off the effects of the global financial crisis.
[AFP / Expatica]