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Growth forecast revised downwards

BAK Basel Economics has revised its 2009 forecast for the Swiss economy, and now says growth will be limited to only 0.7 per cent.

It is the second time in the past four weeks that the think tank has readjusted its forecast. In September, BAK said growth would be 1.3 per cent in 2009, 0.3 per cent less than its previous prediction.

In a statement on Friday, the institute said there were increasing signs that Switzerland’s main trading partners – western European nations and the United States – were heading towards a recession.

BAK said it expected growth of only 0.1 per cent in the Eurozone next year and 0.4 per cent in the US.

BAK has also corrected its forecast for the Swiss economy this year, with growth decreasing from two to 1.8 per cent due largely to the worsening of the crisis on the financial markets.

Despite the increasing risk of a recession, BAK said the Swiss economy was better positioned to be cushioned from the blow than many other OECD countries.

It said the Swiss property market showed no signs of overheating as was the case in other nations.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR