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Tag Archives: Business & Economy

Swiss unemployment rises more than expected

The number of people unemployed in Switzerland rose by more than most economists expected in January 2024. Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.comThe rate at the end of January rose to 2.5%, up from 2.3% at the end of 2023, reported the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). A group of economists predicted it would be between 2.2% to 2.5%, placing the actual figure at the top end of expectations. However, the rate remains low by historical standards. And some of the...

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Issues concerning the Swiss most in 2023

This week, a survey was published setting out issues of greatest concern to the Swiss public. Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Pexels.comThe five biggest issues cited by the Swiss population are of a monetary nature. Economic concerns haverisen, leaving issues such as climate change in sixth place. The top concern is healthcare costs and health insurance premiums. 41.8% were worried about this. This is the leading concern across all age groups, including those under 30 who are typically...

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Rising prices – where Swiss are cutting back

Purchasing power has been hit much less in Switzerland than in other European nations. Between 2020 and 2023 food prices went up 6% in Switzerland. The same figure in Germany (+17%), UK (+40%) and Estonia (+43%) is much higher. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.comAt the same time, big ticket items like health insurance and rent have made a big dent in Swiss budgets. These more visible prices rises have created a perception that overall costs have risen more than they actually have. This...

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Swiss set to vote on changes to rental laws

Changes to Swiss law on renting recently passed by parliament have met with public resistance. This week, enough signatures were collected to trigger a vote aimed at overturning the work of parliament on rental law reform, according to RTS. Apartment Switzerland © mikechapazzo | Dreamstime.comThe two changes, which would make it easier for landlords to move into their own properties and require written approval to sublet, are viewed by some as a cynical move to weaken the hand of tenants....

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Switzerland and UK agree post-Brexit financial services trade deal

More than seven years after a slim majority (51.9%) of the UK electorate voted to leave the EU, Switzerland and the UK have agreed a deal that clears the way to more open cooperation in the financial services sector, helping to restore the pre-Brexit arrangement between the two nations. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.comOn Thursday, Switzerland and the UK announced an agreement to improve trade in financial services between the two nations, reported RTS. Although Switzerland is not an EU...

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Swiss central bank leaves interest rate unchanged

On 14 December 2023, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) said it was ending its interest rate tightening cycle after a clear slowdown in inflation. © David Taljat | Dreamstime.comWith inflation rising more slowly than the central bank’s 2% ceiling (it was 1.4% in November 2023), the SNB left its key interest rate at 1.75% for a second consecutive meeting. While the SNB is still willing to intervene in currency markets by buying and selling Swiss francs, Jordan said that can go in both...

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Zurich world’s most expensive city (again)

According to the Economist’s annual ranking of cities, Zurich came out top in the report published on 29 November 2023. Photo by Ömer Gülen on Pexels.comTied in first place this year were Singapore and Zurich. Singapore is no stranger to the top spot: it has ranked as the priciest place to live in nine of the past 11 years. Groceries, alcohol and clothing in the international business hub can cost a small fortune, wrote the Economist. The cost of a certificate needed to own a car (which...

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Swiss deficit: federal government discusses higher taxes

Switzerland, a nation with a reputation for well managed finances, like much of the world is struggling to cover rising costs. Projected spending on the military and state pensions are key challenges. Spending on refugees and healthcare are additional head winds. The federal government has been looking hard for savings. However, this week talk turned to the possibility of higher taxes, reported RTS. © J0hnb0y | Dreamstime.comAt around 17% of GDP, Switzerland federal debt is relatively low...

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Electric vehicles to be taxed next year in Switzerland

From 1 January 2024, electric vehicles (EV) will be taxed like their petrol and diesel equivalents, announced Switzerland’s Federal Council this week, reported RTS. Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.comCars imported into Switzerland suffer a 4% tax. EVs are currently exempted from this tax. From the beginning of next year all cars including EVs will be taxed. The exemption, introduced in 1997, was designed to increase the rate of uptake of electric cars. However, on Wednesday the Federal...

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Swiss finance minister wins 2023 obfuscation award

Every year, investigativ.ch, an association of investigative journalists, bestows an award on the public figure it deems to have exercised the lowest levels of transparency during the year. This year the award went to Karin Keller-Sutter, Switzerland’s minister of finance, for the secret decision making process surrounding the fire sale of the bank Credit Suisse to UBS, another Swiss bank. The arrangement was backstopped by the federal government, and ultimately taxpayers, and stripped...

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