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Swiss economy soars ahead

The Swiss economy has registered its strongest phase of growth for more than ten years. The economics ministry said Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had risen four per cent in the first quarter of the year, compared to the previous quarter.

That follows GDP growth of 4.4 per cent in the last quarter of 1999 over the third quarter.

The economics ministry said the rise over the last six months represented the strongest period of growth for more than a decade.

The ministry also noted that besides the strong growth, unemployment was down to almost two per cent, and that inflation was stable despite a significant rise in the price of oil.

"The prospects for the Swiss economy are better than they have been for a very long time," the government's economics advisory panel said in a statement.

The body forecast economic growth of three per cent for the year as a whole, and predicted that inflation would also remain low. However, it said the economy could be slowed down by two factors: a downturn in economic growth abroad, and changes in the value of the Swiss franc.

swissinfo with agencies

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