Swiss Economy to Expand More Than Expected: Survey

The Swiss economy will pick up more than expected this year, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Gross domestic product is seen rising 1.6 percent in 2013, according to the median forecast of 27 estimates in Bloomberg’s monthly survey on the Swiss economy, which was carried out Sept. 6 to 11. The previous forecast was for growth of 1.5 percent.

The upward revision comes after Swiss GDP increased 0.5 percent in the second quarter, ahead of economist expectations. The Swiss National Bank’s cap on the franc of 1.20 per euro, set two years ago, has helped shield the economy, which has seen just a single quarter of contraction since the introduction of the ceiling, while the surrounding euro area only emerged from recession last quarter. The SNB, which sees growth of 1 percent to 1.5 percent this year, will issue a fresh outlook at its policy review on Sept. 19.

Swiss GDP probably will advance 1.7 percent next year and 1.9 percent in 2015, the economists said in the survey.

Consumer prices, which halted a 21-month decline in June, are expected to fall 0.2 percent this year, before rising 0.5 percent in 2014 and 0.9 percent in 2015, according to the survey. That is well below the central bank’s 2 percent price stability threshold.

Given the need to keep prices stable and the chance of the euro-area crisis flaring up again, the ceiling remains the right policy tool, SNB President Thomas Jordan said in a Berner Zeitung interview published on Sept. 2.

The unemployment rate, which stood at 3.2 percent in August, the highest since 2010, will remain at that level next year, rising to 3.4 percent in 2015, the survey showed.