Swiss Economy Achieves Highest Growth Since 2000

2006 growth rate hits 2.7%.

Switzerland's economy grew at a rate of 2.7% in 2006, its highest level for six years, the Swiss economics ministry said March 7.

Growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2005 had been 1.9% and 3.6% in 2000.

"For the current year we are counting on a slowdown, a rate of 1.7%," Bruno Parnisari of the ministry's secretariat said.

Switzerland's economy was spurred on by banking and insurance last year, the ministry said in a statement. Other sectors of the economy also grew but at a less dynamic pace, it added.

During the final quarter of 2006, Swiss economic growth reached 2.2% compared to the same period in 2005. Most of the economic growth in the final months of last year was driven by consumer spending and capital investment, the ministry said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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