Outlook brightens for Swiss economy in 2014

Switzerland’s economy is expected to show robust growth in 2014 with immigration responsible at least in part, say forecasters who only disagree on how great the expansion will be.

Latest predictions range from an annual increase in GDP of 2.6 percent, as expected by economists at the Raiffeisen bank, to a more conservative two percent from Credit Suisse, in its latest forecast.

Federal government experts from the state secretariat for economic affairs (Seco) expect a rise of 2.3 percent next year, while Economiesuisse is calling for a 2.2 percent improvement.

Even at the lower end of forecasts, Switzerland’s economy is clearly moving forward at a faster clip than most observers expected as recently as June.

In its latest forecast, Seco raised its outlook for growth in the current year to 1.8 percent from 1.4 percent to reflect more optimism in the Euro zone.

But there are other factors at play, according to Claude Maurer, economist for Credit Suisse.

“The Swiss economy is in a super-cycle, which is fueled by low interest rates and high immigration rates,” Maurer is quoted as saying by the 20 Minuten newspaper on Tuesday.

He said high levels of immigration are responsible for about a quarter of consumer spending growth and the immigration level is expected to stay high in 2014.

Switzerland is also benefiting from growth in Germany, its biggest single trading partner.

Source: http://www.thelocal.ch/20131210/outlook-for-swiss-economy-in-2014-brightens

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