One of Switzerland's top three research institutes Friday sharply revised down its growth forecast for Swiss gross domestic product this year, to 0.9 percent from a previous 1.6 percent, outlook because of the strength of the Swiss franc.
''The warm summer weather has notably cooled off the Swiss economy," said the Basel-based BAK institute.Consumption, construction investments and exports are suffering from the strong currency, which has appreciated against other currencies about 10 percent this year, BAK said in a statement.
''In this situation, exports decline and imports rise. That means that production in Switzerland grows less than domestic demand: GDP growth shrinks," it said.
In its fall 1994 prognosis, the institute was still forecasting real GDP growth of 2.2 percent in 1995, but revised that figure to 1.6 percent this spring.
Private consumption this year was also much weaker than expected as a result of a fairly high 2 percent inflation rate and higher contribution payments toward unemployment benefits, BAK said.
Construction investment is expected to decline by a real 2 percent this year, which the institute said was to be expected after the 1994 building boom.