(Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s economy unexpectedly maintained momentum at the start of the year on services and private consumption, while concerns about struggling exporters persist.

Gross domestic product — adjusted for large sports events — increased 0.3% compared to the previous quarter, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said on Thursday. That’s stronger than the government’s initial 0.2% estimate, but matches the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

“Value added in manufacturing fell slightly in the first quarter, and the chemical and pharmaceutical industry continued the weak performance of recent quarters,” SECO said in a statement. “The services sector was the main driver of GDP growth in the first quarter.”

Private consumption expanded 0.4%, while a 3.3% drop in the exports of goods couldn’t be compensated by a rise in that of services, resulting in a “negative contribution” from trade. 

While exports are weighing on Swiss industry, low unemployment is bolstering consumption, particularly in services. An index of manufacturing purchasing managers has been below the growth threshold for more than a year, but expectations have slightly improved recently. 

Exports may also get a boost from the exchange rate: The franc has been declining against the euro since the start of the year and the Swiss National Bank’s monetary policy stance — it was the first Group-of-10 central bank to cut interest rates — could further weigh on the currency.

The SNB — which is expected to lower borrowing costs again when it next meets on June 20 — has warned that growth will likely “remain modest” in coming quarters and predicts the economy will expand about 1% this year.

--With assistance from Joel Rinneby.

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