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Swiss incomes could end up more than 1,700 francs lower due to Covid-19

10 days ago

Covid-19 is forecast to hit personal incomes by a total of around CHF 15 billion both this year and in 2021, according to the Basel-based research institute BAK Economics, reported Le Matin.

© Bigpressphoto | Dreamstime.comSpread across Switzerland’s 8.6 million residents this comes out at around CHF 1,740 per person and CHF 2,830 per worker.

BAK Economics expects significant declines in personal revenue in the form of lost salaries, lost freelance business and lower investment returns over the next two years because the economic impacts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The institute expects incomes to fall by around 2.5%. Those working in certain sectors will be hit harder. The hotel, tourism and passenger transport sectors will be hit the hardest. Those working in export sectors,

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Coronavirus: no significant slowdown in new cases in Switzerland

27 days ago

© Yulan | Dreamstime.com In the seven days to 10 July 2020, the reported number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections recorded in Switzerland was 589, a similar number to the week before, when 615 new cases were recorded. Over the weeks prior to this there were 251 and 172 new cases, according to worldinfometer.com. Much of the …

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Immigration slowdown hits Swiss rents

28 days ago

In 1999, Switzerland signed a deal with the EU allowing free movement of people between Switzerland and the bloc. The deal came into force in 2002. This led to a rise in immigration into Switzerland, which in turn eventually led to rising rents.
© Andreaciox | Dreamstime.com
However, since 2014 there has been a marked slowdown in EU immigration into Switzerland. In addition, a lot of rental homes have been built. The overall supply of rental properties now exceeds demand.
A report published this week by the Federal Office of Housing shows the effect the immigration slowdown has had on rents between 2014 and 2019.
The downward pressure on rent is partly explained by the higher percentage of foreigners renting compared to Swiss. In 2019, 87% of foreigners were

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Swiss Unemployment Falls in June 2020

29 days ago

The number unemployed in Switzerland at 30 June 2020, fell 5,709 in June to 159,289, according to the State Secretariat for the Economy (SECO).
© Wutthichai Luemuang | Dreamstime.com
Switzerland’s unemployment rate fell from 3.4% to 3.2%. However, despite improving on May 2020, the number unemployed was 53,067 (+54.6%) higher than at the end of June 2019.
Switzerland’s official unemployment figures however include only those registered as unemployed, a lower percentage that excludes those who are available and seeking work but no longer registered. Much of the motivation to register with the unemployment office in Switzerland disappears once an individual has reached the end of their unemployment insurance.
Despite falling unemployment, the number looking for work

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Swiss unemployment falls in June 2020

July 9, 2020

The number unemployed in Switzerland at 30 June 2020, fell 5,709 in June to 159,289, according to the State Secretariat for the Economy (SECO).

© Wutthichai Luemuang | Dreamstime.comSwitzerland’s unemployment rate fell from 3.4% to 3.2%. However, despite improving on May 2020, the number unemployed was 53,067 (+54.6%) higher than at the end of June 2019.

Switzerland’s official unemployment figures however include only those registered as unemployed, a lower percentage that excludes those who are available and seeking work but no longer registered. Much of the motivation to register with the unemployment office in Switzerland disappears once an individual has reached the end of their unemployment insurance.

Despite falling unemployment, the number looking for work rose by 472

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Immigration slowdown hits Swiss rents

July 9, 2020

In 1999, Switzerland signed a deal with the EU allowing free movement of people between Switzerland and the bloc. The deal came into force in 2002. This led to a rise in immigration into Switzerland, which in turn eventually led to rising rents.

© Andreaciox | Dreamstime.comHowever, since 2014 there has been a marked slowdown in EU immigration into Switzerland. In addition, a lot of rental homes have been built. The overall supply of rental properties now exceeds demand.

A report published this week by the Federal Office of Housing shows the effect the immigration slowdown has had on rents between 2014 and 2019.

The downward pressure on rent is partly explained by the higher percentage of foreigners renting compared to Swiss. In 2019, 87% of foreigners were renting compared to

Read More »

Swiss retail sales up 30 percent in May after COVID-19 measures eased

July 5, 2020

© Nora Tarvus | Dreamstime.com Recently published figures show a overall jump of 30.2% in retail sales in May 2020 compared to April 2020. May’s rise of 30.2% follows falls of 6.5% in March and 13.7% in April. However not all retail sectors experienced the same rise in May sales. Food, drink and tobacco sales …

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Swiss government forecasts 2021 deficit but no tax hikes

July 3, 2020

© | Dreamstime.com The coronavirus is set to knock a CHF 1 billion hole in Switzerland’s federal budget for 2021, according to a press release. Without the virus the budget was CHF 2.2 billion in the black. Post virus the budget is now CHF 1 billion in the red. The virus is expected to add …

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Swiss government forecasts 2021 deficit but no tax hikes

July 2, 2020

The coronavirus is set to knock a CHF 1 billion hole in Switzerland’s federal budget for 2021, according to a press release.

© | Dreamstime.comWithout the virus the budget was CHF 2.2 billion in the black. Post virus the budget is now CHF 1 billion in the red. The virus is expected to add CHF 2.0 billion to next years spending. The extra money is earmarked for SARS-CoV-2 tests, business loan guarantees and support to the sports sector.

The Federal Council is confident that the extra money borrowed to cover Covid-19 expenditure can be paid back without raising taxes.

Switzerland’s federal spending is constrained by a mechanism known as the debt brake. The mechanism allows some flexibility to account for business cycles. The brake allows a temporary deficit of up to CHF 3.3

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Swiss salaries rise faster than inflation for the first time in 2 years

July 2, 2020

In 2019, Swiss salaries were on average of 0.9% higher than the year before. A nominal rise of +0.9% combined with low inflation of 0.4% delivered a real boost of 0.5% to someone earning an average salary in Switzerland.

© Vsg Art Stock Photography And Paintings | Dreamstime.comThis is the first time in two years that the average Swiss salary has grown faster than inflation. In 2017 and 2018 the real average salary fell -0.1% and -0.4% in real terms.

Overall, in nominal terms, average salaries rose more for women (+1.0%) than men (+0.9%).

Not everyone saw salaries rise in 2019. Salary movements ranged from -1.1% to +1.3% depending on the sector. Hi-tech manufacturing (+1.7%), scientific research (+1.7%) and financial services (+1.6%) workers received the largest nominal pay

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Swiss retail sales up 30% in May after COVID-19 measures eased

July 2, 2020

Recently published figures show a overall jump of 30.2% in retail sales in May 2020 compared to April 2020.

© Nora Tarvus | Dreamstime.comMay’s rise of 30.2% follows falls of 6.5% in March and 13.7% in April.

However not all retail sectors experienced the same rise in May sales. Food, drink and tobacco sales rose 3.4% and fuel sales were up 6.3% month on month. Clothing and shoe sales were up a whopping 433.5% compared to April.

Clothing and shoe sales fell 55.4% and 61.0% in March and April, so a steep rise in May (433.5%) was not unexpected.

Food, drink and tobacco sales were up 6.8% in March and down 1.7% in April. The rise of 3.4% in May left retail sales of these products solidly up over three months.

May’s rise (6.3%) in fuel sales failed to make up for lost sales in

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Coronavirus: Swiss government makes masks compulsory on public transport

July 2, 2020

© Andres Jacobi | Dreamstime.com On 1 July 2020, Switzerland’s federal government announced that it would become compulsory to wear masks on public transport from 6 July 2020. Due to the the growing number of people using public transport and a rise in the number of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 since mid-June, the Federal …

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Could Swiss ski resorts face Covid-19 lawsuits?

June 29, 2020

© Kvaka9 | Dreamstime.com As the events and decisions surrounding the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus become clearer, fingers are being pointed. A mass lawsuit targeting events in the Austrian resort of Ischgl is looming, according to Bloomberg. Could similar legal action spread to Swiss resorts? At the end of last year, the Wuhan Municipal …

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Switzerland’s latest easing of Covid measures allows large political protests, provided masks worn

June 28, 2020

© Michael Müller | Dreamstime.com On 19 June 2020, Switzerland’s extraordinary state in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic ended. This was accompanied by further easing of restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of the virus. Hand washing, maintaining social distance and mask wearing are the three golden rules that remain, according to Swiss president Simonetta …

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SwissCovid app now available for download

June 28, 2020

On 25 June 2020, Switzerland’s contact tracing app, known as SwissCovid, became available for download.Created by a group of specialists at EPFL led by Marcel Salathé, a professor of digital epidemiology, the app allows chains of infection to be traced by informing people if they have been in contact with anyone infected. Countries, like South Korea, that have done a good job of this have been able to quickly isolate infected people and halt the spread of the virus. The per capita rate of infection in South Korea stood at 245 per million on 25 June 2020. The same figure for Switzerland was 3,626 per million.
The SwissCovid app, which can be downloaded from the relevant phone app store, is issued by Switzerland’s federal government. The app is able to notify and

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Swiss National Bank forecasts deflation until 2022

June 22, 2020

On 18 June 2020, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) said it would maintain its negative rate of interest (-0.75%) and remains willing to intervene more strongly in the foreign exchange market.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a severe downturn in economic activity and a decline in inflation both in Switzerland and abroad.
The bank presented a new lower inflation forecast than the one it issued in March 2020.

The red line in the chart above shows deflation exceeding 1% this year, remaining in deflation in 2021. The yellow line is the bank’s forecast in March 2020. The forecast for the current year is negative (−0.7%). The inflation rate is likely to rise in 2021, but still be slightly negative (−0.2%), before returning to positive territory in 2022 (0.2%).
The SNB

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Coronavirus: the rising number of mild cases with symptoms lasting months

June 20, 2020

© Piyapong Thongcharoen | Dreamstime.com Those with mild Covid-19 symptoms are supposed to recover after two weeks. However, a rising number of relatively young people with mild cases report symptoms months later. Johns Hopkins Medicine says that those with mild cases of COVID-19 appear to recover within one to two weeks. For severe cases, recovery …

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Swiss National Bank forecasts deflation until 2022

June 19, 2020

On 18 June 2020, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) said it would maintain its negative rate of interest (-0.75%) and remains willing to intervene more strongly in the foreign exchange market.

© Marekusz | Dreamstime.comThe coronavirus pandemic has led to a severe downturn in economic activity and a decline in inflation both in Switzerland and abroad.

The bank presented a new lower inflation forecast than the one it issued in March 2020.

The red line in the chart above shows deflation exceeding 1% this year, remaining in deflation in 2021. The yellow line is the bank’s forecast in March 2020. The forecast for the current year is negative (−0.7%). The inflation rate is likely to rise in 2021, but still be slightly negative (−0.2%), before returning to positive territory in 2022

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Coronavirus: national lockdown not part of Switzerland’s second wave response plan

June 16, 2020

Switzerland’s federal government is against imposing nationwide restrictions to slow the spread of a second wave on infections, according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.

© Michael Müller | Dreamstime.comThe federal government plan, which is under development, is more regional than the response to the first wave of infections and focuses decision making power at the cantonal level, reported the newspaper.

Cantons would have the power to independently confine and quarantine schools, restaurants, hotels, shops or towns when outbreaks are detected.   

Reacting to SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks with confinement has been deployed across the world. Italy’s initial response to the spread of the virus in February 2020 was to confine the town of Codogno and nine other municipalities after cases

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Swiss parliament votes in favour of flight tax

June 15, 2020

© Christian Heinz | Dreamstime.com A majority of Switzerland’s parliament voted in favour of introducing a tax on flights departing from Switzerland. 132 voted in favour of the tax, with 65 against. The tax would range from CHF 30 to CHF 120 depending on the distance and class of travel, according to 20 Minutes. Private …

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Coronavirus: new cases stable with small rise in deaths in Switzerland

June 14, 2020

© Xantana | Dreamstime.com In the seven days to 12 June 2020, the number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections recorded in Switzerland was 127. A similar number of new cases was recorded in the week before (108) and the week before that (121), according to Worldinfometer.com. However, the number of deaths was up slightly when comparing …

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Swiss parliament votes in favour of flight tax

June 12, 2020

A majority of Switzerland’s parliament voted in favour of introducing a tax on flights departing from Switzerland.

© Christian Heinz | Dreamstime.com132 voted in favour of the tax, with 65 against. The tax would range from CHF 30 to CHF 120 depending on the distance and class of travel, according to 20 Minutes.

Private flights would be taxed too. A tax of between CHF 500 and CHF 5,000 would be charged depending on the type and size of aircraft.

Parliament also voted in favour (133 vs 59) of increasing the the tax on heating oil. The tax on heating oil, currently capped at CHF 120 per tonne of CO2, is set to rise to CHF 210.

The aims to reduce demand for air travel, something likely to add to the pressure on airlines already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of

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Coronavirus cost could rise to 40 billion francs in Switzerland this year

June 12, 2020

The coronavirus could cost Switzerland CHF 40 billion by the end of 2020, according to the Federal Council.

© Pascal Halder | Dreamstime.comOn 11 June 2020, the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house followed parliament in approving to extend the coronavirus budget by CHF 14.9 billion. The sum includes money to fund a hole in the unemployment benefits system (14.2 billion) and support the sporting industry (0.2 billion).

In May 2020, parliament approved an overall sum of CHF 57 billion. So far, CHF 16 billion has been allocated, much of it as loans to small and medium businesses.

The recent approval of CHF 14.9 billion brings the total to nearly CHF 31 billion. The Federal Council estimates the total will reach CHF 40 billion by the end of 2020, a sum within the original

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Coronavirus: new cases stable with small rise in deaths in Switzerland

June 12, 2020

In the seven days to 12 June 2020, the number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections recorded in Switzerland was 127.

© Xantana | Dreamstime.comA similar number of new cases was recorded in the week before (108) and the week before that (121), according to Worldinfometer.com.

However, the number of deaths was up slightly when comparing the recent week (17) to the week before (2).

Switzerland has come a long way since its first confirmed case in Switzerland was recorded on 24 February 2020. The daily number of recorded new cases peaked at around 1,400 cases in late March 2020 before declining to roughly where it is today over the course of the following month.

By 12 June 2020, there were 31,063 Covid-19 cases and 1,938 deaths.

Much uncertainty remains around the future path of new

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Coronavirus: WHO changes advice on masks

June 10, 2020

© Haris Mulaosmanovic | Dreamstime.com The World Health Organization (WHO) recently changed its advice on face masks. It now recommends healthy people wear them in public when social distancing is not possible, stating that they could provide a barrier for potentially infectious droplets. The WHO had previously said there was not enough evidence to recommend …

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