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Swiss economic growth slows down

Economic growth in Switzerland is slowing down, according to the latest analysis from the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. The Institute for Business Cycle Research (KOF) at the ETH says its economic barometer did not progress in April.

The Institute said its index fell slightly to 1.44 compared to 1.46 in March and 1.46 in February.

The barometer, which gives an indication of Swiss economic growth over a period of six to nine months, is at the same level it achieved during the last phase of strong growth in 1998/99.

The Institute is forecasting that stagnation will continue at least until the third quarter of this year.

A number of the reasons are given for the trend. The Institute says the balance of incoming orders in April was at a higher level than the previous year and has hardly moved since March. It also says that orders in the construction industry slowed down in the first quarter.

The one positive point is that the financial situation of households should slightly improve over the next 12 months, according to the index established by the economics ministry in Berne.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR