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Swiss banker offers cautious global economic assessment

The chief economist of Swiss investment bank UBS Warburg, Klaus Wellershoff, has warned that there will be no 1990s-style market boom in the near future.

Wellershoff said on Sunday that the US economy still had large imbalances, which would drive a moderate rate of economic growth.

He predicted the Swiss Market Index would rise by a total of five per cent in 2002.

The cautious outlook - which comes as markets around the world continue to search for evidence of a sustained economic upswing - was reported in Switzerland's weekly "NZZ am Sonntag" newspaper.

He told the newspaper that the US economy would grow by three per cent this year, but warned there would be nothing like the equity boom that fuelled growth over the last decade of the 20th century.

Wellershoff also said he had "grave worries" about the US's faith in the ability of consumers to sustain the economy.

Switzerland's largest and most important trading partner - Germany - was also a cause for concern.

Wellershoff told the newspaper Germany's upcoming elections would do little to kick-start the country's stalled economy.


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