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optimism Swiss executives predict strong economic year in 2018

20-franc note

The weakening of the franc against the euro in 2017 boosted Swiss exporters.

(Keystone)

Eight out of ten Swiss business executives anticipate a positive economic outlook for the country in 2018, according to an annual survey carried out by the SonntagsZeitung newspaper.

Is it a sign that moods are changing after a 2017 that many would describe as turbulent? Or rather another indication of the Swiss exception, the country having largely escaped much of the economic and political turmoil that marked the past decade?

Whatever their reasons, top executives are confident: after the 81% who anticipate a good year, the remaining 19% expect stagnation, while none said that there would be a downturn.

+ Official stats predict a 2.3% GCP growth in 2018

This is a marked rise from the same figures last year, when just one-third of Swiss executives foresaw a strong performance.

The biggest risks cited by the managers were a possible crisis or breakup of the eurozone, the reform of corporate tax in Switzerland, and possible policies of the US government.

The good mood is related mainly to surrounding conditions in Europe, said the newspaper, as well as the boost provided to exporters by the weakening of the overly-strong Swiss franc through 2017.

The knock-on effects for the real economy could be substantial: some 28% of survey respondents said that an improved overall situation would incentivise them to invest more, up 10 points on last year.

On job creation, however, there is less optimism: though fewer companies expect job cuts this year (17%), only one-third plan to create new positions.


swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos

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