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Switzerland’s KOF Indicator Declined for Fourth Month in January

Switzerland’s KOF economic indicator decreased for a fourth month in January, suggesting the economy may weaken in the first half of this year.

The monthly gauge, which aims to predict the economy’s direction about six months ahead, dropped to 1.05 from a revised 1.29 in December, the KOF Swiss Economic Institute in Zurich said in an e-mailed statement today. Economists forecast a retreat to 1.20, the median of 13 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Switzerland’s economy returned to growth in the third quarter, expanding at the fastest pace since 2010 as foreign sales soared, even as the euro area, its biggest trading partner, fell into a recession. Still, the Swiss franc has been weighing on exports, with Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan saying last week that the currency continues to be “very highly valued” against the euro even after a recent decline to May 2011 levels.

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