ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss economy will bounce back strongly from its pandemic slowdown, the KOF institute said on Friday, as its forward-looking indicator hit its highest ever reading.
The KOF economic barometer, which points to the expected performance of the Swiss economy in about six months' time, rose by 15 points in April to 134 points. [S8N2F904O]
This beat the previous highest reading of 131 in March 2010, following Switzerland's recovery from the financial crisis. A reading of 100 points to the long-term average economic growth over the past ten years.
Unlike neighbouring Germany, which has imposed stricter virus rules, Switzerland this month further eased its restrictions, allowing restaurants to reopen outdoor terraces and spectators to attend sports events.
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The country's current "protection phase", will last until vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, have all completed vaccinations, which is likely to be by the end of May.
Manufacturing led the positive development in April, KOF said, adding that unless the virus situation worsened, "Economic development is likely to get a strong boost in the near future."
It said, "It (manufacturing) is therefore coming back with a force and is benefiting from more favourable international demand. But the outlook for other services, financial and insurance services and consumer demand also brightens considerably."
The outlook for construction is slightly more favourable than in the previous month, while only the accommodation and food service sectors are still struggling, with their indicators showing hardly any change overall, KOF said.
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(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)