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Another month of falling prices in Switzerland

Swiss prices fell by 0.1% in November 2019, the sixth time in 12 months. But not everything is cheaper. Fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes are 17% cheaper – © Maksudkr | Dreamstime.comPrices fell in December 2018 (-0.3%), January 2019 (-0.3), July (-0.5), September (-0.1), October (-0.2%) and November 2019 (-0.1). When combined with the low inflation experienced in the other 6 months the 12-month price drop is -0.1%. Not everything has gone down in price however. Swiss inflation...

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Some Swiss import duties could be axed

Swiss import duties on a number of industrial products might disappear if a plan put forward by Guy Parmelin, Switzerland’s economic’s minister, is approved by the National Council, Switzerland’s parliament, according to RTS. © Tatsiana Hendzel | Dreamstime.comThe changes are expected to benefit businesses and consumers by around CHF 860 million a year. On the other hand, the government will miss out on collecting roughly CHF 500 million a year of revenue from import duties. Products...

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Switzerland’s skilled worker shortage worsens

At 30 September 2019, Switzerland had 79,000 job vacancies and 225,000 unemployed workers. © Bigapplestock | Dreamstime.comThis combination of unemployment and job vacancies can largely be explained by two things. The first is frictional unemployment, the period spent in between jobs. This typically increases when there is a lot of job changing. The second is a skills mismatch. Employers cannot find the skills they need among those seeking work. A recent report by the human resources...

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Swiss foreign work permit quotas maintained for 2020

Every year, Switzerland sets quotas for the number of work visas it issues to citizens outside the EU and EFTA. This week the government announced it would maintain the quota of 8,500 permits that was in place in 2018. In addition, it confirmed an earlier deal it struck with the UK to issue up to 3,500 work visas to British citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The 8,500 quota is made up of 4,500 B-permits for stays over one year, and 4,000 short-term L-permits for short term...

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1 in 10 Swiss hospitals facing financial difficulty

Around one hospital in ten in Switzerland could end up in financial difficultly, according to a report by PWC. © Aris Suwanmalee | Dreamstime.comIn addition, 37 of the 44 hospitals surveyed will not be profitable enough to remain competitive over the next five to ten years, predict the authors of the report. The shift towards more outpatient care instead of more expensive hospitalisation is still a work in progress. Substantial disincentives to make the shift have not been eliminated...

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Number of jobs reaches all-time high in Switzerland

Unemployment rose in the third quarter of 2019, however, there have never been more jobs in Switzerland. © Joerg Stoeber | Dreamstime.comThe total number of jobs in Switzerland rose to 5.137 million at 30 September 2019, a level never seen before. The figure was 1.3% higher than at 30 September 2018 and 0.3% higher than 30 June 2019. And the rise wasn’t due to shift towards part time jobs. On a full time equivalent basis (FTE) there were 1.1% more jobs at 30 September 2019 than there...

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Federal Council paves way for VAT refund on Billag fee

At its meeting on 27 November 2019, the Federal Council set out its plan for the refund of value-added tax (VAT) on Switzerland’s radio and television licence, formerly known as Billag. © Viktoriia Novokhatska | Dreamstime.comBetween 2010 and 2015, VAT was charged on Swiss television and radio licences. The Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, has stated in two judgments that no VAT may be levied on the licence and that the federal government must repay the VAT charged...

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How an average Swiss household spends its income

Recently published figures show that average (mean) monthly household income in Switzerland in 2017 was CHF 9,917 (US$ 9,963). This is equal to CHF 119,004 (US$ 119,554) a year. Income is made up of salary income (CHF 6,320; 64%), freelance income (CHF 984; 10%), investment income (CHF 494; 5%) and money from the government (CHF 2,119; 21%) – pensions and other welfare and transfers. The largest item of expenditure is taxes and compulsory insurance (CHF 2,933; 30%), although this...

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Most Swiss prefer home grown eggs, meat and dairy

Recently published statistics suggest most Swiss prefer home grown animal products. © Swisshippo | Dreamstime.comThree quarters (75%) of those surveyed said they preferred Swiss eggs and more than half preferred Swiss meat (51%) and dairy products (59%). Reasons for preferring local animal products were to support local farmers (nearly 25%), low food miles (15%) and product quality (15%). 40% considered Swiss agriculture to be trustworthy and 33% thought it was customer centred....

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40% of over 50s in Switzerland want to work beyond retirement, suggests survey

40% of workers currently aged between 50 and 64 would like to continue working beyond retirement age, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte. © Kurhan | Dreamstime.comSwitzerland’s growing demographic imbalance is not only putting pressure on Switzerland’s social security system but also reducing its pool of labour. According to UBS, by 2030, the Swiss labour market will face a shortfall of between 230,000 and 500,000 workers. Labour market participation decreases significantly...

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