The Swiss economy grew in the fourth quarter by 0.2% after a decline of 0.3% a quarter earlier, the State Secretariat for the Economic Affairs reported. Experts had predicted a more significant increase - by 0.4%. Compared to the same period in 2017, GDP growth was 1.4%. Its pace slowed compared with a 2.4% growth in the third quarter. The annual growth rate also did not reach the experts' estimate of 1.7%. The main reason for the return of the Swiss economy to growth in the last quarter of 2018 was a significant increase in exports of goods, which was 5.6% after a decline of 4.1% in the previous quarter. Imports of goods also showed an increase of 0.6%. However, the services sector showed a decrease in exports by 2.6%, and imports - by 2.7%. Growth in consumer spending was at the level of 0.3%, government spending - at the level of 0.1%.
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