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Tag Archives: Business & Economy

Switzerland increases federal spending forecast

Every quarter, Switzerland publishes updated spending forecasts for the current year. On 25 October 2023, it raised the 2023 spending forecast by CHF 300 million to 81.6 billion, an increase of 0.4% on the previous quarter, but still below the original budget. Swiss Budget © Marekusz | Dreamstime.comThe revision takes the ordinary budget deficit from an original CHF -700 million to -900 million, a figure 300 million above the late quarterly estimate of -600 million. At the same time,...

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Documents reveal Swiss train fares hike due to government pressure

Train and other public transport fares in Switzerland are set to rise 3.7% on average from 10 December 2023. This week it was revealed that the hike was pushed by the federal government, reported Swiss broadcaster SRF. © Hai Huy Ton That | Dreamstime.comThe decision to increase fares came after the federal government put pressure on Swiss Rail to push the amount it charges passengers higher. Switzerland’s price watchdog Stefan Meierhans said he was shocked. Internal documents revealed...

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Rent disputes multiply in French-speaking Switzerland

The costs of mortgages and building maintenance are rising. Rents are following. In French-speaking Switzerland tenant arbitration organisations are receiving a deluge of complaints and requests for help from tenants, reported RTS. Copyright Akara Kittipadimakun | Dreamstime.comIn Switzerland, it is common for rental agreements to contain a clause that allows rents to be adjusted up or down based on a reference interest rate, which is calculated based on the average cost of mortgage...

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Swiss National Bank holds interest rates at current level

This week, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) surprised many investors by leaving its benchmark interest rate on hold at 1.75%. The decision to hold mirrors decisions this week by the US Fed and Bank of England not to raise rates. By contrast Norway and Sweden lifted rates this week. Thomas Jordan, head of the SNBIn addition, like central bankers in the US and England, the SNB refused to rule out future hikes. And like Sweden the SNB signalled that it would continue to support the currency by...

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Swiss may get to vote on whether to nationalise UBS

A popular initiative has been launched in Switzerland to vote on partially nationalising the UBS Group. For a popular initiative to reach the voting stage 100,000 signatures need to be collected within 18 months. © Andersastphoto | Dreamstime.comThe banks initiative aims to change the Swiss constitution to require large banks and insurance companies of systemic importance to be managed as joint stock companies with the federal government as majority shareholder, a set up described as a...

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Swiss workers report fewer health risks compared to rest of Europe

A recently published survey shows 23% of employees in Switzerland reported a risk to safety or health due to their work in 2021, compared to a European average of 34%. Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels.comIn 2021, 23% of employees in Switzerland identified a risk to safety or health due to their work. The rate across Europe this was significantly higher at 34%. Key areas of concern in Switzerland were work related strain on the musculoskeletal system (55%) and stress from a high work...

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Credit Suisse layoffs to hit thousands of workers

The rushed sale and merger of Credit Suisse into UBS is set to involve around 3,000 layoffs, mainly in the Zurich region, announced UBS this week. The large number of resulting jobseekers in a single industry is likely to make the job search difficult for those losing their jobs. The mood in at the Uetlihof Credit Suisse office in Zurich is depressing, according to various media reports. Credit Suisse © Octavian Lazar | Dreamstime.comUBS has said that there is no other way, reported...

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Demand for workers pushes up EU migration to Switzerland

Over the first half of 2023, the number of foreign residents in Switzerland rose by 47,200. Most came from the EU to work, show recently published statistics. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.comAfter deducting the number of people leaving Switzerland, a net 9,384 people were added to the resident population during the first half of 2023. Much of the movement was driven by those moving from EU nations. Nearly 70% of those arriving were from the EU and 84% of net migration was from the EU....

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Swiss unions demands 4% pay hike

The Swiss union association Travail.Suisse is demanding salary increases of between 3.5% and 4.5%, depending on the sector, for all workers reported RTS. Photo by Anamul Rezwan on Pexels.comThe organisation argues that the demanded hike is justified as a way to keep salaries aligned with cost of living increases and rising productivity. It says that costs such as healthcare and rent are the main financial challenges for workers. It also argues that rising productivity gives companies...

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Demand for Emmental cheese falls sharply

In 2012, Switzerland produced close to 27,000 tons of Emmental, its famous holey cheese. By 2022, production had fallen to below 15,000 tons, a fall of around 45%, according to reports from the industry association representing the brand. Emmental © Richard Villalon | Dreamstime.comThe force behind lower production is lower demand. The cheese is coming under increasing pressure on the world market, according to SRF. Is there a problem with the cheese’s image? Not according to Urs...

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