Thursday, the Centre for European Economic Research, or ZEW, said its economic expectations index for Switzerland improved notably in April.

The ZEW-CS indicator of economic expectations increased to minus 27.7 in April from minus 57.1 recorded in March. Meanwhile, the current economic situations index declined 8.9 points to the minus 66 level.

Although inflation expectations edged up somewhat in April, 52.2% of the financial market experts surveyed still forecast retreating inflation rates in the coming six months, the ZEW said in a report.

Expectations for interest rates remained nearly unchanged, with the overriding majority, 80.9%, of analysts predicting that rates will hold steady at current levels.

Further, the survey of financial market experts revealed that a large proportion of respondents anticipate that the disposition in lending activity toward private investors will remain constant.

On the other hand, half of the experts expect sentiment toward lending activity for institutional investors to diminish. In addition, the survey participants foresee deterioration of the potential for real estate returns, particularly in the office property sector.

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