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Economy starts 2011 on a high

Most Swiss companies say business since the start of 2011 has been “excellent”, according to a quarterly economic survey.

The Swiss economy is expected to have expanded in the first quarter and experienced continued strong growth, states the KOF Swiss Economic Institute survey published on Friday.

Only the hotel and restaurant industry has reported falling sales and turnover. The strong Swiss franc, little snowfall and late Easter holiday are likely to have contributed to a fall in hotel bookings, the survey notes.

Orders have picked up in the construction industry, with demand rising by 20 per cent since January. Faring even better are transport, information and communication companies, of which over 40 per cent reported a rise in demand compared with ten per cent that reported a decline. Staffing levels will be increased in order to cope. 

Industrial companies are also confident about the next three months. Demand is expected to grow steadily, and for the first time since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, companies anticipate a rise in selling prices.

Footfall is slowing for retailers but consumer confidence remains good because of falling unemployment, the survey found.

KOF surveyed 6,800 organisations in April for the report.


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