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Seco lowers economic forecast for 2012

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) has lowered its economic outlook for next year to a gross domestic product growth of 0.5 per cent.

In September it had predicted a growth of 0.9 per cent. The governmental experts put the change down to a cooling off in the European economy during autumn.

In a statement on Tuesday, they pointed to the weak economic conditions in the European Union and the strong franc as factors weighing down the Swiss economy. The EU is Switzerland’s largest trading partner.

However, “a critical economic downturn like in 2008” is not expected. “Assuming that a further escalation of the debt crisis in the euro zone can be avoided, the economic weakness in Switzerland should be limited and of relative short duration,” the communiqué continued.

Unemployment is expected to rise slightly in 2012 due to the economic conditions. But for 2013, the general outlook is more positive, with Seco expecting a GDP growth of 1.9 per cent.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR