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Swiss central bank optimistic about economic growth prospects

Switzerland’s central bank, the Swiss National Bank, on Thursday expressed optimism about the country’s economic performance and said the bank still expected a growth rate of 1.5 percent by the end of the year.

This content was published on June 17, 1999 - 16:09

Switzerland’s central bank, the Swiss National Bank, on Thursday expressed optimism about the country’s economic performance and said the bank still expected a growth rate of 1.5 percent by the end of the year.

SNB President Hans Meyer (right) admitted that the Swiss economy had been sluggish in recent months. But he added that, in light of positive developments in the global economy, the Swiss economy would likely grow by the 1.5 percent forecast by the bank earlier this year.

A likely inflation rate of less than 1 percent, an increasingly flexible labour market and the SNB’s focus on price stability were contributing to a turnaround of the Swiss economiy, Meyer told journalists in the Swiss capital Berne.

SNB Vice President Jean-Pierre Roth (left) underlined that the introduction of the European single currency Euro at the start of this year had not led to the kind of negative shockwaves forcecast by some doomesday sayers.

The bank also tried to ease concerns about the millennium bug -- a computer software problem that, according to some experts, could wreak havoc with financial markets if computers fail to read the year 2000 in a computer compatible way.

SNB Director-General Bruno Gehrig said the bank as well as the Swiss economy overall were taking the problem very seriously and were taking adequate measures to avoid a breakdown.

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