Switzerland's manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) edged lower in January, data released on Tuesday showed, with companies signalling concerns about rising energy costs.
The PMI index - which points to the health of the industrial sector over the next three to six months - fell to 63.8 from an upwardly revised 64.2 points in December.
Still, the figure remained above the 50 level which indicates expansion. "Overall, the manufacturing industry is continuing to recover, albeit not at the booming pace we saw last year," said Credit Suisse, which compiles the survey with Swiss purchasing managers' association procure.ch.
"Output has accelerated sharply again and the order backlog remains robust. This optimistic outlook is also reflected by the employment component, which has increased on a broad scale not seen for more than three years."
Problems remain getting enough components, the survey said, although the shortages seems have eased a little.
Rising energy costs, which are hitting companies across Europe, is becoming an increasing problem for Swiss industry though, the survey said.
Oil and gas prices have been rising as the crisis over Ukraine continues to play a dominant role.
Nearly two-thirds of Swiss respondents said they were seeing higher electricity costs compared to the previous year. Half were seeing higher gas costs and three-quarters higher oil costs.
Most expect energy prices to continue rising, with 82% expecting higher electricity prices, 73% higher gas prices and 65% expecting oil to be more expensive over the next three years.
"As energy costs account for some 7% of operating costs on average for the participating companies, further price increases are likely to have a noticeable impact on both margins and the prices of end products if they indeed continue on the same scale," Credit Suisse said.
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)