ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – An unplanned Swiss federal budget surplus on the one hand and a slimmer current account surplus on the other hand both owe much to lower interest rates inside and outside the country, new figures show. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) Thursday 16 August published figures for the current account showing that the surplus fell from CHF81.9 billion in 2010 to CHF61.5b in 2011. The 2009 surplus was CH68b.
Lower income from financial investments abroad played a key role in shrinking the surplus.
Lower interest rates had a more positive impact on the federal 2012 budget, however, with the Swiss budget at mid-year 2012 showing a surplus of CHF1.5 billion instead of the balanced budget forecast at the start of the year. Expenses were lower during the first six months of the year than budgeted and demands by cantons for additional credits were lower than expected, both due to low interest rates.