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Industrial production rises but at slower pace

Many producers have seen a rise in orders Keystone

Industrial production in Switzerland continued to grow in the third quarter, but not as strongly as earlier this year.

The figures are being seen as further evidence that the economic recovery has lost some of its momentum.

According to the Federal Statistics Office, production was up by 3.5 per cent compared with the same period last year, and sales increased by 4.2 per cent.

Orders to Swiss industry – an indicator of future industrial production – rose 5.3 per cent in the third quarter.

But analysts said the figures were a further sign that the economic recovery was slowing.

“It [the industrial orders number] came in a bit weaker than we had expected – we thought it would have held up a little better,” said Jan Poser at Bank Sarasin.

“But leading indicators have been pointing towards a weakening, so it is consistent with this, and with the Swiss National Bank’s decision last week [not to increase its key interest rate].”

Announcing his decision, Jean-Pierre Roth, the bank’s president, said the economic recovery was not proving to be as dynamic as expected.

The largest production increases were seen among companies which produce various non-metal products.

The winners included the machine industry, the wood-processing sector, textiles and clothing.

Negative growth rates were recorded in the oil- and food-processing industries, as well as in the tobacco and paper sectors.

swissinfo

The fortunes of Swiss industry have improved in the third quarter of 2004.
Production is up by 3.5 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Sales increased by 4.2 per cent.

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