Switzerland flag Switzerland: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

For centuries Switzerland has adhered to a policy of armed neutrality in global affairs, which has given it the access and political stability to become one of the world's wealthiest countries, with an efficient market economy. Its standard of living, industrial productivity and quality of education and healthcare systems are among the highest in Europe. The Swiss economy was relatively resilient throughout the pandemic, thanks to its specialisation in the financial sector and in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. After a positive first half of the year 2022, the Swiss economy had to face a deteriorating global outlook due to high energy prices and the uncertainty linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (natural gas makes up 15% of Swiss energy consumption, of which half was imported from Russia prior to the war). For the year as a whole, the IMF estimated growth at 2.2% of GDP driven by the service sector: in particular, consumer spending has picked up substantially in leisure, hospitality and travel since the lifting of public health restrictions. For 2023, a weaker foreign demand is expected to slow trade and investment, as low consumer confidence should moderate consumption, resulting in an overall forecast growth of 0.8% (IMF). With the normalization of the global situation, the IMF expects the economy to resume growing at a faster pace in 2024 (+1.8% of GDP).

As the support measures taken to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were phased out during 2022, the total government budget deficit was estimated at 0.2% of GDP, also thanks to a rebound in tax revenue as companies in the financial and pharmaceutical sectors recorded strong performances. The budget is expected to return into positive territory over the forecast horizon, at +0.3% of GDP this year and +0.4% in 2024 (IMF). Similarly, the debt-to-GDP ratio – at 40.3% in 2022 – should follow a downward trend (39.1% in 2023, with a further decline to 37.5% in 2024). Despite the tense global situation, inflation in Switzerland remained modest by international standards: in 2022, headline inflation was estimated at 3.1%, and the Swiss National Bank opted for several interest rates hikes after seven years of negative rates. For 2023 and 2024, the IMF expects the inflation rate to return closer to the Central Bank’s 2% target (at 2.4% and 1.4%, respectively), although the challenging international environment is likely to exert increasing pressure on the more cyclical segments of export-oriented industries. Switzerland remains high atop the list of preferred tax havens due to its low taxation of foreign corporations and individuals. The flow of overseas wealth to the country has come in for much criticism in past years, due to concerns over tax evasion. However, after signing an agreement on the automatic exchange of information with the European Union, Switzerland put an end to bank secrecy. Since then, Swiss banks are required to share their clients' information with foreign tax authorities.

Following a strong first semester of 2022, employment growth recorded a slowdown in line with the economic conjuncture, with unemployment starting to edge up in the fourth quarter. The average annual unemployment rate was estimated at 2.2% for 2022, with a projected rise in 2023 (2.4% - IMF). Overall, Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita (PPP) estimated at USD 84,469 in 2022 by the IMF. Nevertheless, according to the latest data available from the Federal Statistical Office, 8.5% of the Swiss population is affected by income poverty.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 818.47905.68977.951,025.311,083.07
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 93,657102,866110,246114,725120,285
General Government Balance (in % of GDP)
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 40.939.537.736.435.0
Inflation Rate (%) n/a2.
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)
Current Account (billions USD) 83.4672.5578.4278.4286.67
Current Account (in % of GDP)

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Swiss Franc (CHF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 ZAR

Source: World Bank, 2015


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Latest Update: November 2023