Why Switzerland’s economy is on the up despite the coronavirus pandemic

Why Switzerland's economy is on the up despite the coronavirus pandemic
Construction sector is doing better, KOF says. Photo by Justin TALLIS / AFP
The Swiss economic outlook is more positive than in previous months, despite the pandemic. Which sectors are rebounding the strongest?

The so-called ‘economic barometer’ of the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) recovered sharply in February, gaining 6.2 points in one month.

The barometer stood at 102.7 points in February, rising above its long-term average of 100.

“The downward trend since the interim high during the pandemic in September 2020 has come to an end, at least for the time being. For the next few months, the barometer signals a somewhat more lively economic activity”, KOF said in a press release published on Friday.

The situation in the manufacturing and construction sector is “more positive than in the previous month”, KOF said.

It specified that in the manufacturing sector, in particular the paper, chemical and electrical industries are “more optimistic than before”.

“The wood, textile, food, and metal industries, on the other hand, are seeing a slight deterioration”.  

Although the outlook for the economy is good, official figures show that the health crisis has impacted Switzerland’s job market, with the number of unemployed people rising across the country. 

At the end of January 2021, 169,753 people were registered as unemployed with the regional employment offices — 6,208 more than the previous month, according to figures from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). 

The unemployment rate increased from 3.5 percent in December 2020 to 3.7 percent currently. In all, 48,735 people more are jobless, compared to the same period in 2020 —that is a difference of 40.3 percent.

SECO data also shows that among the most impacted sectors are retail and commerce (23,039 unemployed) and hotels and restaurants (18,837).

READ MORE: Jobs in Switzerland: Which sectors have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic?

Jobs in Switzerland

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