Swiss firms see only moderate econ slowdown-survey

* KOF institute says most firms see unchanged pace of growth

* Says manufacturers a less optimistic due to strong franc

* Says firms plan to increase hiring

ZURICH, Nov 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Swiss companies expect only a
slight cooling of the brisk recovery and plan to step up hiring
in the months ahead, a survey showed on Friday, contrasting with
the Swiss central bank’s forecast of a marked economic slowdown.

“The Swiss economy is doing well,” the KOF Swiss Economic
Institute said in a statement commenting on its quarterly survey
of some 7,000 companies. “In most industries, the current growth
rate should persevere in the coming months.”

Manufacturers were less optimistic in the October survey
compared to the July poll as the strong Swiss franc was taking
its toll, the KOF said.

But all sectors, with the exception of hotels and
restaurants, expected demand to rise. The KOF survey also showed
that companies were continuing to hire staff.

“All industries polled, with the exception of hotels and
catering, are planning to expand their workforce by the end of
the year,” the institute said.

The Swiss economy has been recovering from the global
recession quickly and the Swiss National Bank (SNB) sees growth
at around 2.5 percent this year, in line with the country’s
pre-crisis average growth.

But most Swiss economic indicators have pointed to a slight
cooling recently.

On Thursday, SNB board member Jean-Pierre Danthine repeated
the central bank’s forecast of a marked slowdown next year, as
the franc’s strength and global economic cooling look set to hit
the Alpine economy.[ID:nSLA4ME6HV]

(Reporting by Sven Egenter, editing by Sujata Rao)

Swiss firms see only moderate econ slowdown-survey