Prevailing poor economic picture - somewhat better expectations

ZEW-CS Financial Market Test Switzerland

Mannheim, (PresseBox) - The February Financial Market Test Switzerland, carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in cooperation with Credit Suisse, reveals once again that the prospects for the Swiss economy have brightened up just slightly on a six-month horizon.

Accordingly, the ZEW-CS-Indicator of economic expectations edges up by 9.0 points to the minus 57.7 mark in February. At the same time, however, the indicator for the assessment of the current economic situation dips by 4.6 points to the minus 45.3 level.

Moreover, 66 percent of the financial market experts continue to expect the inflation rate to retreat further. Nevertheless, overall inflation expectations increase somewhat in February, with the relevant indicator picking up 8.3 points to reach the minus 58.4 threshold.

Turning to commodity prices, 93.8 percent of the respondents do not forecast a further decrease in oil prices. Opinions on the part of survey respondents regarding gold prices hardly changed at all versus the previous month, with the corresponding balance edging down marginally by 1.3 points to the 34.0 mark. Finally, 96.2 percent of the specialists view the labor market situation in a pessimistic light and expect the unemployment rate to grow.

Within the scope of this month's "special question", participants were asked to convey their forecasts regarding the future trend in various economic sectors in Switzerland for the year 2009. Against the backdrop of the prevailing difficult economic situation the experts believe that firms in the telecommunications sector and companies in the agricultural sector are more favorably positioned compared with the other sectors (see link below).

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