Swiss Government Lowers Forecast for This Year and Next

The Swiss government lowered its growth forecasts for this year and next, saying the economy will recover in 2013.

Swiss gross domestic product will rise 1.8 percent this year and 0.5 percent in 2012, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said in an e-mailed statement today. In September, it had forecast the economy to expand 1.9 percent and 0.9 percent this year and next, respectively. In 2013, the economy will gain traction again and expand 1.9 percent, the government said.

Switzerland’s economy is showing signs of a slowdown as the franc’s appreciation is making exports more expensive, curbing demand just as the global economy is weakening. The KOF leading indicator fell to the lowest in two years in November and Jona, Switzerland-based Holcim Ltd., the world’s second-largest cement maker, last month said the franc’s appreciation reduced third- quarter sales and operating profit by 15 percent.

Swiss exports may rise 3.4 percent this year, the government said in its statement. That’s 0.2 percentage points more than forecast in September. In 2012, exports will gain 0.4 percent, the government added. In September, it forecast 0.7 percent of foreign sales growth.

Exports will climb 4.4 percent in 2013, the state secretariat said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Klaus Wille in Zurich at kwille@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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