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Economy of Switzerland

Economy - overview: Switzerland, a prosperous and stable modern market economy with a per capita GDP 20% above that of the big western European economies, experienced slower growth in 1999, because of weak foreign and domestic demand. Growth, however, is expected to rebound to over 2% in 2000. The Swiss in recent years have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness. Although the Swiss are not pursuing EU membership in the near term, in 1999 Bern and Brussels signed agreements to further liberalize trade ties. These agreements still have to pass a Swiss referendum in spring 2000, however. Switzerland is still considered a safe haven for investors, because it has maintained a degree of bank secrecy and has kept up the franc's long-term external value.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $197 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.4% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $27,100 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.8%
industry: 31.1%
services: 66.1% (1995)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 28.6% (1982)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 3.8 million (956,000 foreign workers, mostly Italian) (1996 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: services 67%, industry 28%, agriculture and forestry 5% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate: 2.8% (1999 est.)⁄job creation program

Budget:
revenues: $32.66 billion
expenditures: $34.89 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.3 billion (1998 est.)

Industries: machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments

Industrial production growth rate: 3.3% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 61.076 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 3.74%
hydro: 54.29%
nuclear: 40.18%
other: 1.79% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 50.8 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 29.6 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 23.6 billion kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs

Exports: $98.5 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports - commodities: machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products

Exports - partners: EU 62% (Germany 24%, France 10%, Italy 8%, UK 6%, Austria 3%), US 10%, Japan 4% (1998)

Imports: $99 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Imports - commodities: machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles

Imports - partners: EU 80% (Germany 33%, France 12%, Italy 10%, Netherlands 5%, UK 5%), US 6%, Japan 3% (1998)

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - donor: ODA, $1.1 billion (1995)

Currency: 1 Swiss franc, franken, or franco (SFR) = 100 centimes, rappen, or centesimi

Exchange rates: Swiss francs, franken, or franchi (SFR) per US$1 - 1.5878 (January 2000), 1.5022 (1999), 1.4498 (1998), 1.4513 (1997), 1.2360 (1996), 1.1825 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year

See also : Switzerland



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