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The Swiss machine industry waits for recovery

The Swiss mechanical and electrical engineering industries (Swissmem) says recovery is sluggish, with exports increasing by only one percent during the first nine months of the year and orders down by five percent.

This content was published on November 16, 1999 - 11:20

The Swiss mechanical and electrical engineering industries (Swissmem) says recovery is sluggish, with exports increasing by only one percent during the first nine months of the year and orders down by five percent.

But the branch says it is optimistic and is counting on a clear improvement over the next few months.

Swissmem says it is basing its optimism on the slight increase ( 0.8 percent) in orders in the third quarter, the first increase since Summer 1998, according to a survey among 180 of its member companies.

Switzerland’s main exporter points the finger at European Union markets which have not improved as much as had been foreseen. Swissmem added that orders for the second half of 1998 were “deplorable” (- 13 percent).

On the brighter side, the industry says the United States remains the locomotive of its members, with Swiss exports increasing by almost 17 percent during the first nine months.

Swissmem says it is also pleased with the recovery taking place on Asian markets. Exports are slowly catching up on the losses experienced two years ago after the financial crisis. The most significant advances are being made in Malaysia, China and South Korea.

But Singapore, Japan, Thailand and India are finding difficulties in regaining steam.

Swissmem admits that the overall picture is not as rosy as it had hoped for but orders for the fourth quarter of the year are estimated to increase by between five and ten percent. This will mean a decline of between one and two percent in orders for the year as a whole.

The year 2000 is expected to be more positive with a two-figure increase in orders.











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