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Swiss economic growth forecast raised again

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Swiss economic growth forecast raised again
Domestic spending is fuelling economic growth in Switzerland. Photo: Gaetan Bally/Photopress
10:12 CEST+02:00
Switzerland’s economy, already the envy of the rest of Europe, is set to grow at an even faster pace than expected this year and next, according to the latest forecasts from Bern.

The country is now expected to achieve 1.8 percent growth in 2013, up from the 1.4 percent forecast just three months ago, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said in a report issued on Thursday.

In 2014, the Swiss economy is expected to expand by 2.3 percent, Seco said.

That’s up from a forecast rate of 2.1 percent estimated in mid-June.

“Improvement is expected, as the international economy, in particular the recovery which is beginning to take root in the Euro region, is likely to provide a positive impetus,” Seco said in a news release.

“By contrast, a dramatic recovery in the export industry, which showed itself to be particularly resistant in recent years, is still slow in coming.”

Seco bases much of its revised outlook on brighter prospects for the “crisis-ridden” Euro zone, Switzerland’s largest trading partner, although it noted the pace of recovery varies across different regions.

But it said the “debt crisis on the financial markets has continued to remain under control over recent months and the economic downturn appears to have bottomed out.”

Switzerland is benefiting from a robust domestic economy “which is being helped by the steady level of immigration, low interest rates and absence of inflation”.

Seco expects unemployment levels to average 3.2 percent annually for 2013 and 2014, down slightly from the 3.3 percent level previously forecast.

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