Commodities trading now 3.5% GDP, says Bern

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The commodities trading business will be watched more closely, but will not come under the thumb of regulators, the Swiss government said Wednesday 27 March. The Federal Council says it has accepted 17 recommendations that are part of a report issued jointly by three federal government departments, set deadlines for implementing them, […]

Swiss trade balance held steady in 2012 (update)

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland’s trade balance grew, both exports and imports, in 2012, but growth was “timid”, federal trade figures from the customs office in Neuchatel show. The overall surplus of CHF24.4 billion is a record high, thanks to the second half of the year, when trade picked up after some stagnation. The overall economic […]

Record year for new car registrations due to tougher CO2 rules

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Number of vehicles has doubled since 1980 BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland registered 430,000 new vehicles in 2012, a record number, the federal statistical office said Tuesday 5 February. The country has a total of 5.6 million vehicles for its population of 8 million; 4.3m of these are cars. The average age of Swiss cars is […]

Nestlé’s good 2012 continues (update)

Company will double Chinese R&D GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Food and health products giant Nestlé says it expects to deliver organic growth of 5 to 6 percent for the year, in line with expectations announced earlier, after showing an 11 percent increase in sales to CHF67.6 million for the first nine months of 2012. Sales grew […]

Swiss GDP growth forecast: 1% this year, 1.4% in 2013

No recession, but Swiss economy growth will be weak BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss economy will grow at a rate of 1 percent in 2012, rather than the earlier predicted rate of 1.4 percent, the federal government’s group of experts say in a revised forecast released 18 September, pushing aside gloomier forecasts of a possible […]

Public finances at all levels show “solid surpluses” as of 2013

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss public finances at the federal, cantonal and communal levels will show “solid surpluses” as of 2013, Bern said 30 August. Surpluses that fell in 2010 when GDP growth slipped to 0.2 percent, improved in 2011, but lower expenditures than expected and a better economic picture now show that the federal and […]

Eurozone contracts, with 0.2% fall in growth

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The eurozone economy slowed down in the second quarter of 2012, new figures from Eurostat Tuesday 14 August show: growth slipped by 0.2 percent, after 0 percent growth the previous quarter. The 17-nation region hovered on the edge of recession despite growth of 0.3 percent of the German economy. The larger 27-countries […]

China: Cautious growth and greater role of renminbi expected

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – China’s renminbi, which Beijing has begun cautiously promoting as an internationally accepted trading currency, may surprise us, HSBC’s global head of commodity and structured trade finance told a Financial Times conference in Lausanne Wednesday 25 April. Jean-François Lambert said that “It’s a huge development and moving faster than many expected, so pay attention”. […]

General strike against austerity measures hits Portugal

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Trains were halted and public transport in Lisbon stopped on Thursday 22 March as Portugal’s largest union vowed to bring the country to a standstill in protest over new labour reforms imposed as part of a €78 billion bail-out package. Arménio Carlos, president of the confederation of unions (CGTP), told the Wall […]

Geneva’s banking sector slips another small notch in economy

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva’s financial sector remains a significant part of the canton’s economy, responsible for 20 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), but in 2007 that figure was 25 percent, and 2011 shows new slippage. Ocstat, the canton’s statistical office, Monday 19 March said that while financial business rose by 0.9 percent in […]