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Swiss Investor Confidence Increased in August, ZEW Says

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss investor confidence increased in August as the neighboring euro area emerged from a record-long recession in the second quarter.

An index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, rose to 7.2 in August from 4.8 points in July, the ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany, and Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG said in a statement today.

Survey participants are “increasingly confident that the worst of the euro-zone crisis is over,” Credit Suisse’s Maxime Botteron and Lena Jaroszek of the ZEW said.

To shield the economy from the turmoil in the 17-nation currency bloc, its biggest trading partner, the Swiss National Bank set a limit of 1.20 per euro on the franc in September 2011 to reduce the risk of deflation and recession. The SNB expects the Swiss economy to expand as much as 1.5 percent this year, compared with a Bundesbank forecast of 0.3 percent for Germany, Europe’s biggest economy.

Gross domestic product in the euro area increased 0.3 percent in the three months through June after declining for the six previous quarters, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That exceeded the median estimate of 0.2 percent growth in a Bloomberg News survey of 41 economists.

In Germany, investor confidence rose to 42 in August, climbing to the highest level since March and beating the median economist estimate of an increase to 39.9, ZEW said yesterday.

The Swiss survey of 42 analysts was conducted between July 26 and August 9.

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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