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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk the streets after the Swiss government eases some of its COVID-19 restrictions, as the spread of coronavirus disease continues, on the Bahnhofstrasse shopping street in Zurich, Switzerland on the 1st March 2021. REUTERS / Arnd W

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss economy grew 1.7% weaker than expected in the third quarter, the government said on Friday, as the post-pandemic recovery continued between July and September.

The numbers, which were unaffected by the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in Switzerland, were a slight deceleration from the 1.8% increase in the second quarter, and lower than estimate 2.0% in a Refinitiv forecast. [S8N2NQ00T]

“By the summer, most public health restrictions had either been lifted or significantly relaxed. Thus, the strongest growth in the third quarter appeared in the sectors which had been most affected by the precautionary measures ”, indicated the State Secretariat for the Economy (SECO). ).

“Overall, the GDP was more than 1% higher in the third quarter than the pre-crisis level observed in the fourth quarter of 2019,” he added.

The largest increase came in accommodation and food services, where added value more than doubled from the previous quarter, SECO said.

Earlier this week, the government decided to suspend new national restrictions to curb the rise in coronavirus infections, instead using common sense and local measures to stem the rising tide of cases it called “critical” “.

Bern decided to go in a different direction from neighboring Austria, which reintroduced a lockdown this week, ahead of a Swiss vote to decide the fate of the national government’s pandemic response powers.

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