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Swiss Investor Confidence Rises to Five-Month High: ZEW

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss investor confidence increased in September after the euro area, its biggest trading partner, 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 16.3 points September from 7.2 in August, the ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany, and Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG said in a statement today. That is the highest level since April.

Switzerland’s “progress comes in tandem with slightly more optimistic expectations for economic growth in the euro zone,” Credit Suisse’s Maxime Botteron and Lena Jaroszek of the ZEW said. “While the analysts remain predominantly cautious, their assessment of the current economic situation in the euro zone has improved markedly.”

German investor confidence rose to the highest level in more than three years, ZEW said yesterday, signaling optimism that Europe’s largest economy will continue to grow amid a global recovery.

To shield the economy from the turmoil in the 17-nation currency bloc 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. It will update that forecast at its monetary policy review, held in Zurich at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.

The Swiss survey of 43 analysts, conducted from Aug. 30 to Sept. 13, also showed that participants expect the euro-franc exchange rate to “remain broadly stable over the next six months,” according to the report.

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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