26 October 2001, 14:27  SWISS LEADING INDICATOR FALLS TO -0.68 IN SEPT FROM REV -0.53 IN AUGUST - KOF

ZURICH, Oct 26 - The KOF think tank's leading indicator for the Swiss economy fell to -0.68 in September from a downward revised -0.53 in August as last month's suicide attacks hit an already weak global economy, it said on Friday. The September reading for the indicator was the lowest since early 1997 and suggested the Swiss economy was set to keep decelerating for the next six to nine months.
The August index had originally been reported at -0.41.
"The barometer signals a sharper slowing of gross domestic product growth that will stretch into the first half of next year," KOF said.
"Recessive tendencies must only be expected if uncertainty continues in the next few months and if the behaviour of companies and private households stays restrained," it added.
It said order inflow fell more sharply in September than in August and the amount of orders on hand also clearly fell. Companies' unfavourable view of the situation was reflected in their plans to increase cutbacks in purchasing of intermediate products.

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