Switzerland's leading economic survey is signalling a further slowdown in growth for the first half of this year. The Business Cycle Research Index stood at 0.88 for January, down from 0.91 in December.
The monthly survey conducted by the Swiss Institute for Business Cycle Research showed that growth in new orders was slowing. But it found a modest rise in the number of firms planning higher materials purchases.
An Institute economist said the slowdown might end by the middle of the year but added that further data would be necessary to confirm this.
Data on fourth quarter GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is due out on March 8. Current forecasts range from 2.2 per cent to 3.4 per cent growth, down from 3.6 per cent in the third quarter.
swissinfo with agencies