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Switzerland keeps credit squeeze at bay

The global credit crunch has yet not affected Switzerland, a top economist has said.

There has been "no trace" of the squeeze according to polls of the Swiss National Bank by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) or in its dealings with banks and businesses, the department's chief economist, Aymo Brunetti, said.

"Credit terms have not become significantly more restrictive," Brunetti told the economic review Finanz und Wirtschaft.

Brunetti admitted that as Switzerland was in the midst of an economic slow-down the outlook for companies had become less favourable and credit lending had lost some of its dynamism. "But that is normal," he added.

He said Seco had not yet concluded whether a recession was unavoidable but reiterated its forecast that the economy would grow by less than one per cent in 2009.

The brunt of the downturn in Switzerland has come from the export sector, making export industries and related investors the most affected by the financial crisis, he added.


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