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SNB Sees Moderate Economic Growth In 2012

The Swiss National Bank said Thursday that it expects a moderate economic growth of close to 1 percent for 2012 after 1.9 percent expansion last year.

In its Quarterly Bulletin released Friday, the central bank said the Swiss economy will post positive growth again in the first quarter.

The economic slowdown has widened the negative output gap further, with continued high immigration contributing to robust growth in production potential, it said.

At the same time, subdued business climate is likely to be reflected in a slight increase in unemployment over the following quarters.

SNB noted that as long as no sustainable solution for the European sovereign debt crisis is implemented, however, the outlook remains highly uncertain.

The report said the introduction of the minimum exchange rate in September 2011 has reduced the Swiss franc's substantial overvaluation and given companies a sounder basis on which to plan their investments.

It noted that companies' employment and investment plans in Switzerland remain cautious to restrained. Turnover expectations for the coming months have increased in all sectors compared to the previous quarter.

by RTT Staff Writer

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