Swiss Companies See Revenues Rising, SNB Survey FindsCatherine Bosley
Swiss companies expect revenues to rise after economic activity revived early this year, according a survey prepared for the Swiss National Bank’s most recent policy review.
“The outlook for real growth in turnover over the next few months has brightened further in all sectors,” the SNB said its Quarterly Bulletin published in Zurich today.
The survey is based on talks SNB representatives held in January and February 2013 with 238 members of various industries on the current and future situation of their companies and the economy. The SNB didn’t identify the companies it spoke to.
At its policy review on March 14, the SNB kept its benchmark interest rate at zero and also maintained its cap of 1.20 per euro on the franc, citing the risk of a worsening of the euro-area crisis.
The 17-nation currency block is Switzerland’s top trading partner. The strong franc, which nearly touched parity with the euro in August 2011, prompting the SNB to impose the upper limit a month later, has pressured profits at export-oriented companies.
The survey found that the manufacturing and --- to a lesser extent -- the services sectors are experiencing an improvement in the first quarter. Companies across all sectors said margins had improved in the first quarter, compared with late 2012, according to the report.
The real export-weighted external value of the Swiss franc has largely remained unchanged since July 2012, though still significantly above its long-term average, the SNB said in the Quarterly Bulletin.