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Medium-size businesses upbeat about upswing

More medium-size Swiss companies are optimistic about an improving business climate but for many the recovery may be too late.

A report by Ernst & Young published on Wednesday showed that 36 per cent of some 700 surveyed companies expect the business situation to improve. In May 2009 the figure was 27 per cent.

The survey found 17 per cent of medium-size businesses believed conditions would continue to deteriorate, compared to 43 per cent that thought Switzerland’s economic situation would get better. Last year just 20 per cent expected an improvement.

Despite the news, Viktor Bucher, an Ernst & Young spokesman, remained cautious.

“The mild economic recovery does not mean the Swiss economy is back to full health,” he said. “It’s too early to give the all clear.”

Many companies said they were still reluctant to invest more money. About one in five companies said it expects to hire new workers during the first six months of 2010. Companies expecting to shed jobs during that time fell to nine per cent.

Ernst & Young’s Pierre-Alain Cardinaux said the anticipated upswing might not be enough to stave off company bankruptcies.

“Even if we are now seeing a light improvement, a slump in production like the one we saw in 2009 leaves a sizeable dent,” he said. It will take at least two years for production levels to reach those obtained before the crisis, he added. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR