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Swiss Firms Slightly Less Worried About Franc, SNB Survey Finds

Swiss companies are getting slightly less worried about the Swiss franc’s strength as the exchange-rate cap eased uncertainty and simplified planning, the Swiss central bank said.

“The exchange rate situation was no longer given the same prominence” in the first quarter as in the previous three months, the Swiss National Bank said in its quarterly bulletin published today, citing a survey. “However, some manufacturing companies and service providers still regard the current exchange rate level as critical.”

The SNB last week maintained its cap of 1.20 francs per euro introduced in September to fight deflation risks and help exporters. While consumer prices fell for a fifth month from a year earlier in February, exports unexpectedly gained 9.2 percent the same month, adding to signs the economy is stabilizing.

“The minimum exchange rate for the Swiss franc against the euro brought welcome planning security for many companies and even prevented some from going out of business,” the SNB said. “Pressure to optimize costs is continuing.”

The survey was conducted in January and February among 243 Swiss companies, according to the SNB.

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