Switzerland Economy - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

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Economic overview

Switzerland, a country that espouses neutrality, is a prosperous and modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Its economic and political stability, transparent legal system, exceptional infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and low corporate tax rates also make Switzerland one of the world's most competitive economies.

The Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to gain access to the Union’s Single Market and enhance the country’s international competitiveness. Some trade protectionism remains, however, particularly for its small agricultural sector. The fate of the Swiss economy is tightly linked to that of its neighbors in the euro zone, which purchases half of Swiss exports. The global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn in 2009 stalled demand for Swiss exports and put Switzerland into a recession. During this period, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) implemented a zero-interest rate policy to boost the economy, as well as to prevent appreciation of the franc, and Switzerland's economy began to recover in 2010.

The sovereign debt crises unfolding in neighboring euro-zone countries, however, coupled with economic instability in Russia and other Eastern European economies drove up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safehaven currency. In January 2015, the SNB abandoned the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro, roiling global currency markets and making active SNB intervention a necessary hallmark of present-day Swiss monetary policy. The independent SNB has upheld its zero interest rate policy and conducted major market interventions to prevent further appreciation of the Swiss franc, but parliamentarians have urged it to do more to weaken the currency. The franc's strength has made Swiss exports less competitive and weakened the country's growth outlook; GDP growth fell below 2% per year from 2011 through 2017.

In recent years, Switzerland has responded to increasing pressure from neighboring countries and trading partners to reform its banking secrecy laws, by agreeing to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. The Swiss Government has also renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate OECD standards.

Real GDP growth rate

1.11% (2019 est.)

3.04% (2018 est.)

1.65% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 170

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.3% (2019 est.)

0.9% (2018 est.)

0.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AAA (2000)

Moody's rating: Aaa (1982)

Standard & Poors rating: AAA (1988)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$588.472 billion (2019 est.)

$583.056 billion (2018 est.)

$567.448 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 36

GDP (official exchange rate)

$731.502 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$68,628 (2019 est.)

$68,479 (2018 est.)

$67,139 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 12

Gross national saving

35.3% of GDP (2019 est.)

33.8% of GDP (2018 est.)

30.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 25.6% (2017 est.)

services: 73.7% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 53.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 12% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 24.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -1.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 65.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -54% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 76.6 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 88.4 (2020)

Trading score: 96.1 (2020)

Enforcement score: 64.1 (2020)

Agricultural products

milk, sugar beet, wheat, potatoes, pork, barley, apples, maize, beef, grapes

Industries

machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals

Industrial production growth rate

3.4% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 92

Labor force

5.067 million (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 76

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 3.3%

industry: 19.8%

services: 76.9% (2015)

Unemployment rate

2.31% (2019 est.)

2.55% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

Population below poverty line

16% (2018 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

32.7 (2017 est.)

33.1 (1992)

country comparison to the world: 136

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 7.5%

highest 10%: 19% (2007)

Budget

revenues: 242.1 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 234.4 billion (2017 est.)

note: includes federal, cantonal, and municipal budgets

Taxes and other revenues

35.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 60

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Public debt

41.8% of GDP (2017 est.)

41.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: general government gross debt; gross debt consists of all liabilities that require payment or payments of interest and/or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date or dates in the future; includes debt liabilities in the form of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), currency and deposits, debt securities, loans, insurance, pensions and standardized guarantee schemes, and other accounts payable; all liabilities in the GFSM (Government Financial Systems Manual) 2001 system are debt, except for equity and investment fund shares and financial derivatives and employee stock options

country comparison to the world: 119

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$79.937 billion (2019 est.)

$63.273 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Exports

$443.997 billion (2019 est.)

$444.605 billion (2018 est.)

$430.129 billion (2017 est.)

note: trade data exclude trade with Switzerland

country comparison to the world: 19

Exports - partners

Germany 16%, United States 14%, United Kingdom 8%, China 7%, France 6%, India 6%, Italy 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, packaged medicines, medical cultures/vaccines, watches, jewelry (2019)

Imports

$344.477 billion (2019 est.)

$344.557 billion (2018 est.)

$343.367 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

Imports - partners

Germany 21%, Italy 8%, United States 6%, France 6%, United Kingdom 5%, United Arab Emirates 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

gold, packaged medicines, jewelry, cars, medical cultures/vaccines (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$811.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$679.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 3

Debt - external

$1,909,446,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,930,819,000,000 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

Exchange rates

Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -

0.88995 (2020 est.)

0.98835 (2019 est.)

0.99195 (2018 est.)

0.9627 (2014 est.)

0.9152 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Switzerland on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Switzerland 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Switzerland 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.