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No wave of coronavirus bankruptcies so far, study finds 

Many employees were put on short time work during the lockdown as companies were hit by the pandemic. Keystone / Magali Girardin

Government credits and employment support measures have helped stave off a wave of bankruptcies, but they could rise over the longer term, says a survey.

Between January and August 2020, which includes the lockdown period, 2,800 firms in Switzerland declared bankruptcy. This is actually 621 fewer than in the same period last year, says the study by the Swiss association of creditors Creditreform.

The association’s experts put this down to government support measures such as emergency interest free loans for companies hit by the crisis and employment support such as short time working subsidies. But they warn of a possible rise in bankruptcies over the longer term amid a tougher economic climate.

“The consequences of the coronavirus crisis on company bankruptcies are difficult to evaluate,” Creditreform stresses. But it said a 60% rise to more than 8,000 over the year is “not an unrealistic scenario”.

On Wednesday, government experts at the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) forecasted GDP to fall by 5% this year. This was slightly revised downwards from a previous forecast of -6,2%.

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SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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