Switzerland has managed to avoid recession with unexpected growth in the second quarter, despite a strong franc. Hayley Platt reports.
It's one of Switzerland's best loved exports. But a strong franc has made the country's exports more expensive. So much so a Reuters poll of analysts predicted the country could slip into its first recession in six years. But that hasn't happened. Solid spending by both consumers and the government managed to offset the impact of a strong franc. And instead of shrinking 0.1 per cent as expected, the economy grew 0.2 percent from the previous quarter - beating the most optimistic forecasts. But complicating the picture - imports fell more than exports. And could be a sign that production is slipping as a result of manufacturers importing fewer supplies. Some expect GDP to grow 0.9 percent for the full year. And 1 percent in 2016. The currency soared in January, after the Swiss National bank removed a cap that had been put in place, largely to protect the export-reliant economy.