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Oil, bikes and furniture: The products you're going to pay a lot more for in Switzerland

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Oil, bikes and furniture: The products you're going to pay a lot more for in Switzerland
Baked goods and dairy products like cheese have become more expensive in Switzerland. Photo: Pixabay

It should come as no surprise to anyone by now that a number of products and services have gotten more expensive in Switzerland lately. What are they and what lies ahead, price-wise?

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Rising inflation, as well as lingering economic effects of Covid coupled with the war in Ukraine — both of which are disrupting supply chains — have made many consumer goods in Switzerland even more expensive than before.

These articles published in The Local list a number of common purchases and services where prices have risen and are expected to increase even more:

Seven products that are becoming more expensive in Switzerland

EXPLAINED: How inflation is increasing housing costs in Switzerland

How Covid, inflation and the Ukraine invasion has made Switzerland more expensive

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This is the situation overall

The calculation of inflation is based on a fictitious, rather than actual, basket of goods, where the fluctuations in the price of electricity and energy have a greater weight than cost of sugar or stamps.

Overall, costs of rent, mortgages, gasoline, heating fuel, natural gas, construction materials, agricultural products, baked and diary goods, coffee and even beer, have gone up.

All these increases have an impact not only on spending habits of individual households, but also on the economy as a whole.

“Inflation can cause prices to spiral. Higher prices mean consumers get less for their money. They then demand higher salaries in order to maintain their standard of living. To finance these wage increases, companies then increase their prices. A vicious circle is thus set up”, according to an analysis by 20 Minutes news platform.

Even though the inflation rate in Switzerland is a relatively low (in comparison to other countries) 2.5 percent, the prices of some goods have soared substantially, 20 Minutes reports: about 75.6 percent for heating oil, 39.2 percent for gas, and 54.8 percent for flights.

This recent Consumer Price Index from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) gives an idea of how much higher Swiss prices are now in comparison with the same period last year.

FSO

What specific prices have gone up and by how much?

Aside from the ones mentioned above, these are some of the specific products and how much they have increased on a percentage basis:

  • Petrol (25.1 percent) and diesel (28.3) at the pump
  • Second-hand cars (15.6), new vehicles (4.4)
  • Garden / patio furniture (14.1)
  • Indoor furniture (11.8)
  • Fruits (11.3)
  • Lamb meat (8.7) and veal (5.8)
  • Computer keyboards and mouses (8.5)
  • Pasta (8.1)
  • Phone calls from a landline (5.2)
  • Margarine and cooking oil (4.6)
  • Bicycles (3.3)

You can find the current prices of other goods as listed by Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes here.

What can we expect for the rest of the year?

Nobody can predict with a high degree of accuracy what lies ahead cost-wise, as the evolution of the war in Ukraine is uncertain at this point .

However, The Swiss Economic Institute (KOF)  made a prediction based on best and worst possible scenarios.

Under the former one, the price of oil will stabilise at 100 dollars per barrel by the end of the year and there will be no interruption in the supply of natural gas, which means no drastic price increases.

In the latter case, “we risk further disruptions in supply chains and even higher prices for energy and food”.

As far as inflation is concerned,  “it will remain at a high level over the next few months and will weaken again towards the end of the year”, according to KOF, which expects the current rate to fall to 1.9 percent by December 2022, and to 0.7 percent by the end of 2023.

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Overall, Switzerland is doing better than other nations

With the current inflation rate of 2.5 percent, Switzerland is doing relatively well — as it usually does during global economic downturns.

By comparison, the inflation rate in the United States now stands at  8.3 percent, the highest level in 40 years.

In France it is 7.5 percent, in Germany to 7.4 percent, and it is even higher in eurozone countries farther afield: 19 percent in Estonia, 14.2 percent in the Czech Republic, and 9.6 percent  in the Netherlands.

Overall, the general inflation rate in the EU is 7.5 percent.

Another piece of good news: some products and services, such as citrus fruits, olive oil and …sewage taxes have become cheaper in Switzerland.

READ MORE: 13 things that are actually ‘cheaper’ in Switzerland
 

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