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Economics experts predict growth of almost 3 per cent

A group of economists from banks, insurance companies and research institutes is becoming increasingly optimistic about the Swiss economy, forecasting growth of 2.96 per cent this year.

The group of specialists, who form the Business Economists Consensus, was predicting in March that growth would be 2.39 per cent for the year as a whole.

However, they believe that GDP growth will slow down next year to 2.35 per cent.

The Consensus says that the strong export situation and domestic demand are supporting growth of the Swiss economy. Investment in equipment and construction is set to grow by 5.09 per cent this year, slowing to 3.97 per cent in 2001.

Exports of goods and services are forecast to climb in real terms by 7.45 per cent this year but slow down considerably in 2001 to 4.8 per cent.

As a result of the favourable economic climate, unemployment will stay below 2 per cent. It is set to hover around 1.95 per cent (2.19 in March) for the year as a whole and fall in 2001 to 1.82 per cent.

In a statement, the Consensus also repeats its confidence in the Swiss National Bank’s ability to contain inflation. The experts continue to predict that inflation will rise to 1.6 per cent this year and to 1.7 per cent in 2001.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR