Swiss gov't expects economy to shrink at start of 2021

ZURICH, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The Swiss economy is expected to contract during the first quarter of 2021 as the country deals with the latest lockdown restrictions introduced to counter the second wave of COVID-19, a government economist said on Tuesday.

Swiss economic development will be “clearly negative in the first quarter” after a flat development at the end of 2020, Ronald Indergand, head of short time economic analyses at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), told the Reuters Economic Outlook Switzerland online event.

“In the second quarter the bounce-back may be around the corner,” Indergand said, citing the roll out of vaccinations and warmer weather.

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields