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Switzerland’s economy grew more slowly than expected in the three months to December as investment, construction and equipment and exports of watches and jewellery all fell.

Gross domestic product grew by 0.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to December, growing at a slower rate than economists’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg, which had predicted a 0.4 per cent expansion.

Output increased 0.6 per cent on a year on year basis, well below economists’ estimates of 1.3 per cent growth.

Exports of goods declined 3.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, representing the weakest quarter in three years as precision tools, watches and jewellery remained weak and exports of chemical and pharmaceutical products decreased.

The State Secretariat for Economic affairs said consumption expenditure of private households, however, had bucked two weak quarters to grow by 0.9 per cent in the three months to December.

There may be a further bright spot on the horizonr, as the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF)’s economic barometer was yesterday reported at its highest level since the end of 2013 in February. KOF’s measurement is designed to act as an early indicator for the Swiss economy with a number above 100 signalling growth.

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