Swiss government expects Q4 GDP to fall around 1%

ZURICH, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The Swiss government expects the country’s economic output to shrink by 1% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the previous three months due to COVID-19 restrictions at home and in neighbouring countries, before growth returns next year.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) expects economic development to be flat during the first quarter of 2021, economist Ronald Indergand told Reuters.

“We expect growth to turn positive in the second quarter and accelerate throughout the year as vaccines become available, the weather gets warmer and countries ease their restrictions,” Indergand said.

Developments next year will depend on the extent of any further restrictions imposed in Switzerland, as well as on their duration and on how far measures are imposed elsewhere, he said.

SECO said earlier on Tuesday it expects Switzerland’s economy to shrink by 3.3% this year before growing by 3% in 2021 and 3.1% in 2022.

Reporting by John Revill Editing by Gareth Jones