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Swiss Investor Confidence Decreases in May, ZEW Says

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss investor confidence fell in May, signaling the economy may struggle to gain momentum as the neighboring euro area stays weak.

An index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, decreased to 2.2 from 20 in April, the ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany, and Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG said in a statement today.

The proportion of analysts who expect the economic situation to deteriorate in the next six months rose for the first time since September to 20 percent from 10 percent, the survey found.

The Swiss National Bank expects growth of as much as 1.5 percent this year. To shield the economy from the turmoil in the 17-nation currency bloc, its biggest trading partner, the SNB has a limit of 1.20 per euro on the franc to lessen the risk of deflation and recession.

German investor confidence rose less than economists forecast in May, climbing to 36.4 from 36.3 in April and missing the median economist estimate of 40. Germany is Switzerland’s largest export market.

According to the survey, the proportion of analysts who expect the price of gold to rise increased to 48.7 percent from 33.3 percent. As for real estate prices, 61 percent said they saw them as overvalued.

The Swiss survey of 45 analysts was conducted between Apr. 29 and May 13.

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Bosley in Zurich at cbosley1@bloomberg.net

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

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