Swiss GDP Grows 0.7% in the Third Quarter

Swiss economic growth slowed less than economists forecast in the third quarter as consumers stepped up spending, helping counter a drop in exports.

Gross domestic product rose 0.7 percent from the second quarter, when it increased a revised 0.8 percent, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said. Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent after stagnating in the previous three months.

Swiss companies have boosted spending and hiring, encouraging consumer demand and bolstering growth. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the world’s largest jewelry maker, on Nov. 2 reported first-half profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Still, Swiss central bank President Philipp Hildebrand said he expects growth to slow into 2011.

Exports fell 3 percent in the third quarter after rising 1.7 percent in the previous three months, today’s report showed. Investment advanced 0.6 percent, down from a 1.8 percent gain in the second quarter.

Second-quarter GDP growth was revised from a previously reported 0.9 percent. From a year earlier, GDP advanced 3 percent in the third quarter, up from 2.8 percent in the previous three months., Bloomberg
12/2/2010 9:48:49 AM