global economy

Swiss see V-shaped recovery, but wary of second virus wave

Agence France-Presse
Swiss see V-shaped recovery, but wary of second virus wave

The restarting of Geneva's landmark fountain, known as Jet d'Eau, on June 11, 2020. - The fountain was switched off on March 20, 2020, as the Swiss government further tightened measures against COVID-19. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)


The Swiss Economic Institute's monthly economic barometer jumps to 113.8 points in September 2020 – a 10-year high

Switzerland’s economy appears to be bouncing back from its coronavirus-induced funk, but a surge in fresh infections could dramatically slow any recovery, indicators showed on Wednesday, September 30.

The Swiss Economic Institute (KOF)’s monthly economic barometer rose in September for the 4th consecutive time, jumping 3.6 points to 113.8 points – a 10-year high, it said in a statement.

The key economic indicator, which had plummeted to unprecedented lows in April and May, has now surged to a level last seen in 2009-2010, at the end of the global financial crisis.

“At present, the economy is taking a V-shaped course, so that a recovery of the Swiss economy can be expected for the time being,” KOF said.

The news came after Switzerland last month plunged into a recession after the economic affairs ministry (SECO) said the coronavirus pandemic had caused a “historic” slump in economic activity in the country.

But the central bank last week voiced slightly less pessimism for the full-year outlook, now expecting gross domestic product to shrink 5% in 2020, compared to its previous forecast of 6%.

KOF meanwhile said the wealthy Alpine nation had seen a clear recent upswing in its hotel and restaurant sectors, which had been devastated by the lockdowns and other measures implemented earlier this year to rein in the virus.

It also highlighted positive trends in foreign demand, especially in terms of company orders, and said the manufacturing sector and private consumption were also picking up again.

Analysts with Capital Economics hailed the KOF findings, saying they suggested “the Swiss economy gathered momentum going into” the 4th quarter.

Second wave fears

KOF warned however that its rosy outlook could shift if Switzerland, like much of Europe, experiences a big surge in fresh coronavirus cases.

“A second wave of COVID-19 cases could lead to a sharp revision of this assessment,” it said.

To date, Switzerland has seen nearly 1,800 deaths and more than 53,000 cases of the novel coronavirus.

Swiss daily case numbers regularly topped the 1,000 mark in March, but stringent measures pushed new daily infections into the low double digits in June.

Since then however, infections have been steadily rising, with the country currently registering fresh daily case numbers in the hundreds, amid signs of a second wave of the epidemic in much of Europe.

The Capital Economics note remained upbeat however.

“While the second waves of virus cases in parts of Europe are a downside risk for Swiss exporters, the rebound in German manufacturing, and signs that the pickup in virus cases in Switzerland has already peaked, bode well for the near term,” it said. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.