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Economic outlook improves

The leading KOF economic institute has raised its forecast for the growth of Switzerland’s gross domestic product, expecting an average increase of 0.8 per cent this year.

The institute said in statement on Friday that the economy would improve, especially towards the end of the year, despite exports suffering from the effects of the strong franc and stagnation in Europe.

KOF pointed out that the Swiss economy had escaped recent turbulence relatively unscathed, boosted by private consumption, a robust labor market and low unemployment.

Its previous forecast had set GDP growth at 0.2 per cent, after 1.9 per cent in 2011. KOF expects the economy to return to that level next year.

The KOF spring forecast is in line with others released this month. Estimates for 2012 range from 0.4 to 1.0 growth this year, and from 1.5 to 1.9 per cent in 2013.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR