Broad economic growth set to continue

The financial sector is one of many to experience continuing growth Keystone

Swiss economic recovery spread across many sectors in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to a survey by Zurich's Institute for Business Cycle Research (KOF).

This content was published on February 10, 2006 - 12:35

The quarterly survey conducted in January added that economic growth was expected to continue over the next three to six months.

KOF sent 7,800 questionnaires to people in the industrial, construction and services sectors. The rate of return was 56%.

Respondents said rising industrial production was resulting in an increase in capacity utilisation.

Companies that focused on the domestic market as well as those relying on exports had noticed the trend.

The construction and catering industries both saw their turnovers increase. The financial sector reported a continuing healthy demand.

The increase in activity in the insurance branch, however, was described as merely "slight".

Consumer confidence

KOF's forecast comes a day after the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) surprised many experts with its announcement that consumer confidence was booming and back at the same level as four-and-a-half years ago.

Seco's quarterly survey found Swiss consumers were more confident in job security now than in October 2005 and many are bullish about the economic upturn, wanting to invest any additional money on the stock exchange.

As a result the Swiss Market Index, the index of Swiss blue chips, is higher than it has been for five years.

In January the unemployment rate in Switzerland rose to 3.9 per cent from 3.8 per cent in December 2005. Seasonally adjusted, the figure remains unchanged at 3.6 per cent.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Growth forecast 2006:

Seco: 1.8%
Swiss National Bank: 2.0%
UBS: 2.0%
Credit Suisse Group: 1.7%
Institute for Business Cycle Research - KOF: 1.5%
Basel Economics: 1.8%
OECD: 1.75%

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