IMF report optimistic about Swiss economy

The International Monetary Fund has for the first time published its annual report on Switzerland's economic performance. The move is in line with the IMF's new policy of increased transparency.

This content was published on March 3, 2000 - 12:50

The International Monetary Fund has for the first time published its annual report on Switzerland's economic performance. The move is in line with the IMF's new policy of increased transparency.

Until now the IMF's Executive Board has only released a press release covering the report's principal findings.

The report is optimistic about the outlook for the Swiss economy, saying that GDP is projected to expand from 1.5 per cent in 1999 to close to two per cent in 2000-2001. It bases its favourable view on the faster growth of exports and investment and the buoyant expansion of private consumption.

Inflationary pressure is also set to increase because of higher oil prices and the weakening currency.

In the report, the IMF praises the Swiss authorities for sound macro-economic policies which, it said, had proviced the basis for rising output, falling unemployment and low inflation following a prolonged period of stagnation.

It said the main objectives for the future were to maintain the non-inflationary economic recovery and to pursue structural reforms needed to strengthen the country's long-term prospects.

The report is based on consultations between an IMF delegation and Swiss representatives from the Federal administration and the National Bank, which took place last December over ten days.

The talks, based on Article 4 of the IMF's statutes, covered all elements of Switzerland's monetary and budgetary policy as well as certain structural issues. The final 30-page report was discussed by the IMF's executive board on February 14 and is now available on the worldwideweb.

The IMF report can be found on the worldwideweb at www.imf.org.

By Michael Hollingdale

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