September 6, 2018 / 6:44 AM / 19 days ago

Swiss economy powers ahead in Q2 as manufacturing shines

ZURICH, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The Swiss economy generated above-average growth for a fifth consecutive quarter from April through June as manufacturing powered ahead and exports accelerated.

Gross domestic product expanded 0.7 percent versus the first three months and picked up to 3.4 percent year on year, government data showed on Thursday.

"Similarly strong growth rates over several quarters were last reached in 2014. Thus, the Swiss economy grows again at a faster pace than the euro area, despite somewhat weakening momentum in the second quarter," the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said.

Manufacturing remained underpinned by robust foreign demand and the Swiss franc's weakening from peaks touched in 2015 when the central bank abandoned efforts to keep it from rising too much against the euro, currency of its main export market.

Growth in energy production from hydropower and nuclear power plants boosted the energy sector, helping exports of industrial products and energy rise sharply.

Total exports of goods increased at an above-average rate of 2.6 percent after two weak quarters. "So far, the international trade dispute has had hardly any impact," SECO said.

Reporting by Michael Shields

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