Swiss government slightly raises 2019 growth forecast to 1.2%

ZURICH, June 13 (Reuters) – The Swiss government upped its economic growth forecast for 2019 to 1.2% on Thursday but warned of risks to the global economy including the trade dispute between the United States and China, uncertainty over Brexit and Italy’s financial situation.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs’ (SECO) had in March forecast that the economy would expand by 1.1% this year.

The upgrade comes after the Swiss economy grew by 0.6% in the first quarter, double the 0.3% rate at the end of 2018. That was helped by strong domestic demand, one-off factors like a mild February which supported construction, and an improvement in the automotive sector.

But SECO cautioned that while the international and Swiss economy had expanded significantly between January and March, the outlook was still subdued and the global economy still faced an abundance of downside risks.

In 2020 SECO sees growth of 1.7%, in line with its March forecast. (Writing by Michelle Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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