Switzerland enters recession in 1st quarter

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The economy ministry shows Tuesday the economy shrank by 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

Bern -- Switzerland officially entered a recession in the first quarter on 2009 when its economy shrank by 0.8 percent compared to the previous three months, government data showed Tuesday.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) shrunk by 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2008, according to the data from the economy ministry. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction.

"Negative pressures came mainly from foreign trade," with exports down 5.4 percent, the ministry said in a statement.

On a 12-month comparison, Swiss GDP fell even more sharply, down 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. Analysts had forecast a 12-month contraction of up to two percent, according to finance agency AWP.

AFP / Expatica

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