Outlook for Swiss economy and jobs is improving significantly, new figures show
Although the Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet, new indicators signal positive economy and employment prospects for Switzerland.
After a long period of economic stagnation due to the coronavirus pandemic, things have taken a turn for the better - with Switzerland tipped to emerge from the crisis in a strong position.
Let’s look at the economy first.
This uplifting news comes from two sets of figures released Friday and Monday by the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF).
The KOF Economic Barometer is an indicator of the direction of GDP growth for the Swiss economy, compared with the same quarter a year earlier.
The Barometer is currently “at a historical high”, exceeding its previous record recorded in early 2010, when the economy recovered after the 2008 global financial crisis.
And “unless the virus takes another leap, economic development is likely to get a strong boost in the near future”, KOF’s experts said.
Construction is the industry which is rebounding the fastest, “coming back with a force”, KOF said.
Due to increased consumer demand, the outlook for other sectors, such as financial and insurance services “also brightens considerably”, KOF’s economists noted.
At the same time, prospects are also improving in the goods manufacturing sector, as well as in the metal, electrical, wood, glass, and stone industries .
The only sectors still experiencing a slowdown are, not surprisingly, the hotel and restaurant industries, which continue to be impacted by the extended closures or, at best, limited re-openings.
This KOF chart shows how significantly the economic situation has improved in comparison to 2020, when the country was in the midst of the first wave of the pandemic, with the national economy virtually at a standstill.
\Now let’s look at the job market.
Here too, “the outlook for the Swiss labour market is improving significantly”, KOF found.
While it is not yet at the pre-pandemic low unemployment level, “for the first time since the beginning of the Covid crisis, there are more firms that plan to increase their headcount over the next three months than those that expect to cut staff”, KOF reported.
This encouraging trend can be most seen in the construction, insurance and wholesale industries.
However, here too the hotel and restaurant sectors are disadvantaged — due to the slow rebound, no new job vacancies are on the immediate horizon.
KOF’s forecasts are in line with the findings of a study released in March by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). It showed that the country, including the hardest hit areas of Swiss economy such as the tourism and export sectors, are expected to recover quickly with the easing of coronavirus restrictions and acceleration of vaccinations.