Switzerland is one of the most competitive countries at generating a global flow of information, ideas, capital, goods and people, according to a study.This content was published on February 10, 2006 - 16:02
The Globalisation Index placed Switzerland in ninth place after comparing 23 economic, social and political variables between 1970 and 2003 in 123 countries.
The Institute for Business Cycle Research (KOF) claims the index, released on Friday in Zurich, is the most comprehensive comparative study of its kind.
Switzerland gets a high rating for global economic performance and in the social field of spreading information around the world.
But the country slips to 33rd place when comparing its political influence on the world stage. This was measured by comparing how many embassies are located in each country, membership of inter-governmental organisations such as the World Bank, and involvement in United Nations Security Council missions.
Globalisation Index author, Professor Axel Dreher, believes Switzerland's relative strength at globalisation has a positive effect on the economy.
"Globalisation has no negative impact on taxes and social spending, as suggested in some quarters, and actually promotes economic growth," he told swissinfo.
KOF also released the findings of its quarterly survey into the economic health of Switzerland that predicts continued growth in all sectors in the next three to six months, reflecting the trend of the last quarter of 2005.
KOF sent 7,800 questionnaires to people in the industrial, construction, services and the financial sectors. The rate of return was 56%.
"The economy developed better than expected," Professor Richard Etter told swissinfo. "We expect increased business activity in the next six months to be at least as strong as in the second half of 2005.
"The monetary supply is ample, there are no price or salary pressures or other bottlenecks and there are also no overheating signals."
KOF's forecast comes a day after the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) surprised many experts with its announcement that consumer confidence was booming and back at the same level as four-and-a-half years ago.
Seco's quarterly survey found Swiss consumers were more confident in job security now than in October 2005 and many are bullish about the economic upturn, wanting to invest any additional money on the stock exchange.
As a result the Swiss Market Index, the index of Swiss blue chips, is higher than it has been for five years.
In January the unemployment rate in Switzerland rose to 3.9 per cent from 3.8 per cent in December 2005. Seasonally adjusted, the figure remains unchanged at 3.6 per cent.
swissinfo, Matthew Allen in Zurich
Growth forecast 2006:
Swiss National Bank: 2.0%
Credit Suisse Group: 1.7%
Institute for Business Cycle Research - KOF: 1.5%
Basel Economics: 1.8%
The KOF Globalisation Monitor, which compared the degree of globalisation in 123 countries, ranked Switzerland in ninth place overall. The United States tops the list with Japan in 15th place, Germany 20th and China 44th. Other countries beating Switzerland included Austria in sixth position and France in seventh.
Switzerland occupies ninth place when measuring the spread of ideas, information, images and people.
In terms of the global flow of goods, capital and services, Switzerland is rated seventh of the countries surveyed.
But Switzerland falls to 33rd spot when comparing its global political impact.
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