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Full steam ahead for economy

The Swiss economy is going from strength to strength. The latest report published by the economic research unit at the Federal Institute for Technology in Zurich forecasts strong growth in the next two quarters.

The Institute for Busincess Cycle Research said on Tuesday that a survey among 500 businesses showed the first quarter to have been successful.

Based on the survey, it predicted that the growth would continue to be strong over the next six months, and that no major bottlenecks were expected.

The survey also confirmed a revival of the manufacturing industry, which is now operating at 82 per cent of its full capacity. However, this is still below the long-term average of 84.5 per cent.

The construction industry is also continuing to grow steadily, if slightly more slowly than the economy as a whole.

It is the service industry which is performing best. In particular, the hotel and catering business has seen strong growth of 4.5 per cent in the first quarter, and remains optimistic for the rest of the year.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR