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Economy remains robust

The Swiss economy is proving resistant to the credit crisis and fears of a recession in the United States.

Released on Thursday, the results of two surveys – by bank UBS and the Swiss Economic Institute KOF – found that the economy was still buoyant.

However a majority of branches said the economy was beginning to lose steam, KOF said in a statement, even if they remained confident in the short term.

Export companies, retailers and the hotel and restaurant industry led the sectors expecting a slowdown, while the services industry including financial institutions and insurers were waiting for an upturn.

UBS found through its poll of small and medium-sized companies that Swiss firms were positive for the second quarter of 2008 but did think the pace of growth would slow.

Forty-six per cent of the SMEs surveyed said their orders were still increasing, as were staff numbers to meet the demand.

The financial sector located mostly in the greater Zurich area has remained the main engine for growth.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR