Swiss government sees "light at end of tunnel" for economy

Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:45am EST

* SECO keeps 2012 growth view at 1 pct

* Trims 2013 growth forecast to 1.3 pct from 1.4 pct

* Predicts growth of 2 pct in 2014

* Cuts inflation forecasts for 2012, 2013

* Short-term outlook mixed but no signs of crisis

ZURICH, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The Swiss government said it was cautiously optimistic for the economic outlook assuming the euro zone debt crisis does not escalate even as it trimmed its growth forecast for 2013 to 1.3 percent.

"Alongside the dark clouds hanging over the situation, the first signs of light at the end of the tunnel are appearing," economists at the State Secretariat for Economics (SECO) said.

"These first signs allow for cautious optimism and to anticipate a gradual improvement in Switzerland's international economic environment over the next two years."

The SECO stuck to a forecast for 1 percent growth for 2012, but pared its outlook for 2013 to 1.3 percent from the 1.4 percent it predicted in September.

It expects growth to accelerate to 2 percent in 2014 assuming the euro zone debt crisis remains under control and the global economy gradually recovers.

It forecast consumer prices to fall by 0.7 percent this year, up from a prediction of minus 0.5 percent made in September. Prices are seen rising 0.2 percent in 2013 and 2014. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson)

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