February 23, 2017 / 9:44 AM / 9 months ago

Negative rates help Swiss swing to 2016 budget surplus

ZURICH (Reuters) - Windfall revenue and falling debt service costs as a result of negative interest rates helped the Swiss federal budget swing to an underlying surplus of 752 million Swiss francs (£597 million) in 2016, the government said on Thursday.

A man holds a 100 Swiss Francs bank note in front of an ATM in this illustration picture taken in Bern December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

But it forecast structural deficits of 1.0 billion francs in 2018, 1.1 billion in 2019 and 0.5 billion in 2020, announcing spending cuts to ensure it meets limits on fresh borrowing.

Gross debt fell to 98.8 billion francs at the end of last year from 103.8 billion, it said.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by John Miller

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