Swiss Manufacturing Output Expands for 1st Time Since ’11

Swiss manufacturing output expanded for the first time in 17 months in January, adding to signs that the economy is stabilizing.

The procure.ch Purchasing Managers’ Index advanced to 52.5 from a revised 49.2 in December, when adjusted for seasonal swings, Credit Suisse Group AG said. That’s the first reading above 50, signaling expansion, since August 2011. Economists forecast an increase to 50.5, the median of 10 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Simultaneously with a depreciation of the Swiss franc against the euro since the start of the year, “industry appears to have finally passed the trough,” Zurich-based Credit Suisse said today in an e-mailed statement.

A measure of Swiss manufacturers’ output rose 6.7 points to 56.3 in January, today’s report showed. A gauge of order backlogs increased 3 points to 57.9, and an indicator of employment advanced to 48.1, Credit Suisse said.

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