SWITZERLAND - Swiss economic prospects have improved slightly so far this month, but continue to hover at a very low level, according to Credit Suisse.
However, the assessment of the current economic situation deteriorated, with the corresponding indicator dropping by 20.2 points to the -13.5 threshold.
The outlook for inflation continued to brighten up as 90.4% of financial experts forecast retreating inflation rates in the coming six months.
The results revealed just less than 2% of respondents expected the economic outlook to brighten up, and the effects on the real economy were becoming increasingly noticeable in the wake of the financial market crisis.
Only 3.8% of the financial market experts still viewed the prevailing economic picture as "good", while 17.3% of the analysts already regard economic momentum as "bad".
The survey results regarding long-term interest rates were less clear cut. Roughly half of the respondents (51.9%) foresaw no change, while 32.7% saw lower long-term rates and 15.4% were looking for higher rates.
Across the rest of the globe, more research has shown economic activity is expected to fall by a further 0.9% in the US next year, 0.5% in Europe and 0.1% in Japan as OECD countries enter a protracted slowdown.
The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development's director policy studies Jorgen Elmeskov said a high degree of uncertainty surrounded the outlook for the economy and explained much depended on the depth and duration of the financial crisis.
He said GDP for the OECD countries as a whole was expected to fall 0.3% year-on-year in 2009 before recovering slightly to grow by 1.5% in 2010.
And he claimed inflation would continue to ease as economic slack puts downward pressure on prices and if, as assumed, commodity prices maintained their recent lower levels.
"Against this backdrop, additional macroeconomic stimulus is needed," said Elmeskov.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has granted 11 master trusts extensions to apply for authorisation, as it confirms it has received 22 applications ahead of the 31 March deadline.
Aegon Master Trust, Fidelity Master Trust and Ensign have sent off their authorisation applications to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
Self-administered pension funds spent £15bn on payments to pensioners in Q4 2018, but received just £12bn in contributions (net of refunds), Office for National Statistics (ONS) data reveals.
Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) and Gresham House are to team up to form a joint venture.