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UK-SWISS-ECONOMY-GDP:Swiss economy stumbles in fourth quarter
Reuters A worker grabs pre-cast bars of gold at a plant of refiner and bar manufacturer Argor-Heraeus SA in the southern Swiss town of Mendrisio, March 1, 2012. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland's economy expanded at a slower than expected pace of 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous one as a fall in exports dragged on growth, data showed on Thursday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a quarterly growth rate of 0.4 percent.

Year-on-year, gross domestic product rose 1.7 percent, also missing forecasts for an increase of 2.0 percent and down from a revised 2.1 percent growth in the previous three months, the State Secretariat for Economics said.

The central bank said in December that Switzerland's recovering economy remained vulnerable. It forecast economic growth of 1.5-2.0 percent in 2013, and around 2.0 percent in 2014.

(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by John Stonestreet)