News

Published weekly, the articles in this section provide information for SMEs on the following topics:

  • The latest economic developments
  • New studies related to SMEs in Switzerland
  • Useful news for companies

The most recent articles are also posted on the SME Portal homepage.

Listed by date:


2024

People holding interlocking cogs.

Record of Swiss mergers and acquisitions abroad

(28.02.2024) Swiss SMEs took advantage of the strong franc to increase their investments in mergers and acquisitions of foreign companies. The total number of transactions reached 76 (+1.3%), a record figure since the beginning the consulting firm Deloitte began its study in 2013.
A forklift next to wooden pallets.

Contraction of foreign trade, despite good results in watchmaking

(21.02.2024) In 2023, according to the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS), exports declined by 1.2% and imports by 3.8%. However, the trade surplus – the second-largest ever recorded – reached 48.5 billion Swiss francs, compared to 42.8 billion in 2022.
zins_covid

Possibility of interest rate adjustment for COVID-19 credits at end of March 2024

(29.02.2024) As stipulated by law, the interest rates for COVID-19 credits are reviewed on 31 March each year by the Federal Council and adjusted to market conditions if necessary. Therefore, the Federal Council could potentially adjust the current interest rates of 1.5% for outstanding credits up to CHF 500,000 and 2% for those exceeding CHF 500,000 at the end of March.

Decline in employment growth in 2023

(14.02.2024) The unfavorable economic situation is weighing on the labor market. According to the Swiss Job Market Index published by the Adecco Group and the University of Zurich, the growth rate of job offers rose by 3% on an annual basis, compared to 23% the previous year.
Watches displayed in a store.

Watchmaking sees unprecedented hiring

(07.02.2024) Employment remains particularly robust in the watchmaking industry. In 2023, the number of employees in the sector increased by 7.3% to reach 65,237, which is 4,414 more than in 2022, according to the Employers' Association of the Swiss Watchmaking Industry.
An employee places food items on the shelves.

Despite inflation, retail trade held steady in 2023

(31.01.2024) Swiss retailers demonstrated their resilience last year. Sector sales increased by 3.6% in November compared to the previous year, followed by a slight decline of 1.3% in December, according to the Swiss Retail Federation.
A night view of the city of Zurich.

SME PMI: Slight rebound at the end of 2023

(24.01.2024) Economic conditions have stabilized in Switzerland, albeit with caution. Raiffeisen's SME PMI index recorded 50.9 points in December 2023, placing it above the expansion threshold. However, the bank has expressed disappointment with the overall performance in 2023 and anticipates a mixed outlook in the coming months.
An industrial hangar.

Strong franc: Swissmem calls on authorities to take action

(17.01.2024) The appreciation of the Swiss franc poses a risk to Swiss exporters. The umbrella organization Swissmem is urging public authorities to improve the framework conditions, emphasizing that the MEM sector employs 330,000 people, and 80% of its production is sold abroad.
Solar panels on the roof of a building.

Swiss societies concerned about climate change

(10.01.2024) Business leaders consider climate change a priority. According to Deloitte's CxO Sustainability Report, almost half of them (40%) rank it among the three most significant concerns for the future of their businesses.
A world map outlined in dotted blue patterns.

Switzerland is a globalization champion

(03.01.2024) Despite remaining below its 2019 pre-pandemic level, Switzerland continued its global trade dominance in 2021. This was attributed to robust foreign trade, its role as a global financial hub, and hosting numerous international organizations.

2023

Swiss Entrepreneurs' Society SSE, construction index, increase in order entries, third quarter 2023

Orders are picking up in construction sector

(27.12.2023) Construction activity has slightly rebounded in the third quarter of 2023. The industry records a slight increase of 1.7% on a yearly basis, thereby reducing the deficit for the first three quarters to -4.6%, according to the Swiss Entrepreneurs' Society (SSE).
A list of numbers and arrows pointing upwards.

Increase in VAT as of January 1, 2024

(20.12.2023) Following the Swiss public's endorsement in September 2022 of the amendment to the Federal Law on Old Age and Survivors' Insurance (AVS), the Value Added Tax (VAT) is set to increase starting January 1, 2024.
Federal Office of Customs and Border Security OFDF foreign trade Swiss exports imports pharmaceuticals October 2023

Pharmaceutical sector weighs down Swiss exports and imports

(13.12.2023) Foreign trade experienced a significant decline in October 2023. The decrease in exchanges in the pharmaceutical industry led to a drop of 10.7% in exports and 4.9% in imports, according to the Federal Office of Customs and Border Security (OFDF).
A man in a computer products store.

Retail trade calls for regulatory truce

(06.12.2023) Swiss retailers expect a turbulent 2024. Despite a promising 2023, more than a third (36%) of businesses believe that the next fiscal year will end with below-average results, according to the Swiss Retail Federation.
A winter landscape with chalets at the foot of the Matterhorn.

Promising winter for the tourism sector

(22.11.2023) After the trauma of the pandemic, the Swiss tourism sector is continuing its upward trend. While the summer season ended with record numbers, the winter season 2023-2024 is expected to see a growth of +0.4%, according to the forecasts from BAK Economics and SECO.
logo of logib, the payroll system

Create a salary system with the Logib web application

(16.11.2023) As of now, the Confederation is making Logib pay system available: Companies and organisations can use the webtool to develop a simple system for managing functions and salaries based on gender-neutral criteria.
Raiffeisen PMI SME index, inflation, strong franc, import, export, economic conditions, order books, production

Job market on the rise again

(15.11.2023) Strong headwinds are blowing across the Swiss economic landscape. In October, Raiffeisen's PMI SME index dropped by nearly five points to 45.2. The banking institution highlights the industrial recession in the Eurozone and the appreciation of the franc.
A man in front of an electrical panel.

Job market picks up

(08.11.2023) In the third quarter of 2023, the Adecco Swiss Job Market index increased by 7% on a yearly basis, driven particularly by the strength of the mechanical, electrical, and metallurgical (MEM) industries sector.
People in an auditorium.

SME Forum supports extending loss compensation deadline

(01.11.2023) Following the pandemic, Parliament is calling for an extension of the loss compensation period for businesses from seven to ten years. This change is necessary because, under current regulations, businesses may find themselves unable to offset some of their losses with future profits.
A hangar filled with wooden planks.

Several sectors at risk of bankruptcy

(01.11.2023) The cases of insolvency increased by 8% in the first three quarters of 2023, according to the consulting firm Dun & Bradstreet. Between January 1st and September 30th, 2023, 3,845 companies had to file for bankruptcy in Switzerland, compared to 3,552 in the same period in 2022.
Four people conversing in a professional space.

Absences due to mental illnesses are on the rise

(25.10.2023) Workplace absenteeism weighs heavily on the activities of companies. More than one in four SMEs (26%) experienced the negative consequences of absences due to mental health issues in 2022, according to a study on the labor market by the insurance company Axa.
Two men in a discussion point at elements on a computer.

Switzerland remains leader in innovation

(18.10.2023) The Swiss economy has managed to retain its innovation edge. The country retained first place for the thirteenth consecutive year, while Sweden overtook the United States for second position, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 2023 Innovation Index.

2022

View of the Quai des Bergues in Geneva, with its hotels and flags.

Swiss hotel industry: highly encouraging upturn in visitor numbers

(22.06.2022) The hotel sector experienced a sharp rebound during the winter of 2021/2022. According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the industry recorded 14.6 million overnight stays. This represents a 54% increase in demand in all tourist regions compared with the previous year.
An empty workspace.

Slight decline in office real estate supply

(28.12.2022) The increase in employment since the end of the health crisis is boosting demand for office space. According to Credit Suisse's "Swiss Office Property Market 2023" study, however, supply is not shrinking as sharply as in previous economic upturns due to the trend for remote working.
Workers in a warehouse.

Business situation gloomy

(28.12.2022) Swiss companies are facing a mixed year-end outlook. The KOF Business Situation Indicator, based on approximately 4,500 company reports, stood at 20.2 in November, down 7.7 points from October.
A person at the Lindenhof in the old town of Zurich.

Hotels: foreign travelers make a strong comeback

(21.12.2022) The hotel industry posted encouraging results in summer 2022. According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), 22.4 million overnight stays were recorded in Swiss accommodations between May and October 2022, an increase of 21.9% compared to summer 2021.
A woman in a supermarket with a long receipt.

Growth forecasts revised downwards for 2023

(21.12.2022) With rising energy prices and sluggish foreign demand, the Swiss economy is experiencing a slight slowdown. According to the latest report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), growth in real terms is expected to reach 0.6% in 2023.
Workers consult a site plan.

Construction: rising costs put pressure on margins

(14.12.2022) Construction continues to be stable in 2022. According to the Swiss Contractors' Association (SCA), industry sales reached CHF 6.2 billion in the third quarter. However, rising costs for materials and personnel are causing profit margins to fall.
A large corporate building.

Multinationals omnipresent in Switzerland

(14.12.2022) Almost a quarter of the country's workforce works for a multinational company. In 2021, more than 35,000 companies with a total of nearly 1.5 million jobs and sales of close to CHF 2,000 billion belonged to a multinational group, according to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
Economiesuisse Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade Mutual Recognition Agreement MRA Switzerland United Kingdom simplified conformity assessment procedure approval

New bilateral agreement with the UK

(07.12.2022) A new bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the United Kingdom will be effective as of January 1, 2023. Different product categories will benefit from a simplified conformity assessment procedure.
SwissMEM MEM industries machinery electrical equipment metals third quarter 2022 exports decline in orders

Slowdown in the machinery industry

(07.12.2022) Concern is growing in the mechanical and electrical engineering industries (MEM) sector. According to the Swissmem trade association, orders fell by 12.4% in the third quarter. In comparison with the second quarter of 2022, incoming orders from abroad have declined by as much as 21.1%.
Two employees in a grocery store.

Non-standard employment affects younger generations most

(30.11.2022) Non-standard forms of employment have persisted in the Swiss labor market since 2020. According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO, they account for 10% of employees. The rate is slightly higher among 15 to 24-year-olds and in certain elementary occupations.
Various pictograms with a CO2 symbol in the center.

Companies remain relatively inactive in terms of ecological change

(30.11.2022) Various factors are holding back companies from making ecological changes. According to the ERM Report 2022 published by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences (HSLU), 65% of the companies surveyed see costs as a major obstacle to reducing their environmental impact.
Several parked cars.

Automotive sector anticipates 2023 recovery

(23.11.2022) The automotive sector is expecting a slight improvement in the economy. According to forecasts by the BAK Institute and the Swiss Automobile Association (SAVV), the number of new vehicles on the road in 2023 will increase by 13.6% compared with 2022.

2021

Woman scanning qr code in front of a PC

Switch to the QR-bill Picks Up Speed

(28.12.2021) The latest survey results from gfs.bern concerning the discontinuation of payment slips show: The switch of companies to the QR-bill picks up speed. Already today, around two thirds of all Swiss companies are planning to complete the switch on time.

Replacement of payment slips – majority of companies have recognized the need for action

(28.07.2021) The latest study by gfs.bern on the replacement of the current payment slips shows that the majority of companies recognize the need for action. After 30 September 2022, payments will no longer be possible in Switzerland using the red and orange payment slips. By this date at the latest, all Swiss companies must be able to issue QR-bills.
A person scans a QR code on his smartphone.

Discontinuation of Payment Slips: Switch to QR-bill or eBill Now

(24.02.2021) PostFinance has set the end date for the current red (IS) and orange (ISR) payment slips as 30 September 2022. It is thereby supporting the digitalization of payment transactions and the corresponding follow-up products QR-bill and eBill. The red and orange payment slips will thus be definitively replaced for all Swiss bank customers. Companies are now required to switch if they have not done so already.

Last modification 02.01.2024

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