Category Archive: 3.) Investec

Income inequality declines in Switzerland

In 2016, before the effects of taxes and welfare, the highest earning 20% of Swiss households made on average 40.8 times what an average household in the bottom 20 percent made, an inequality measure known as the S80/S20. However, after taxes and welfare, including low income support, health insurance subsidies, pensions and disability benefits, the same income ratio fell to 4.4.

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Steep drop in thefts in Switzerland

Comparing 2018 to 2012, thefts in Switzerland fell by nearly half, according to the Federal Statistical Office. In 2012, there were a record 219,000 thefts recorded in Switzerland. By 2018, the figure had fallen to 112,000, a drop of 49%.

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Million franc salaries cause friction in Bern

Switzerland’s government recently voted for a ceiling on the salaries of those managing public companies such as Swisscom, Swiss Post, Skyguide and Swiss Rail. In response, the board of Swiss Rail wrote to the Federal Council requesting it to soften its position. From 2020, the company wants to pay its nine senior managers CHF 5.89 million, including a salary of more than CHF 1 million to Andreas Meyer, the boss of the company.

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Facebook rejects most information requests from Swiss authorities

Over the first three months of 2018 Switzerland’s authorities made 80 requests for Facebook user data, however two thirds of them were rejected, according to the newspaper SonntagsBlick as reported in 20 Minutes. When the requests were urgent the response rate rose to two thirds of requests.

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Swiss Rail shares bumper profits with passengers

In 2018, Swiss Rail made a profit of CHF 568 million, 42.5% more than in 2017. Part of the rise was due to higher than average spending on maintenance in 2017. It is worth noting that Swiss Rail receives a large sum from taxpayers every year. In 2018, the company received CHF 3.5 billion of public funding, CHF 2.7 billion of it booked as income.

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Swiss chocolate consumption slides

In 2018, Switzerland’s population consumed around 87,000 tonnes of chocolate. However, average chocolate consumption dropped from 10.5 kg per person in 2017 to 10.3 kg in 2018, a decline of roughly 2%. This decline reflects last year’s longer hotter summer, according to the industry association Chocosuisse.

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Swiss parliament calls for more online purchases to be taxed

Since 1 January 2019, companies abroad making more than CHF 100,000 in revenue must charge Swiss VAT on sales made to anyone in Switzerland. Now the Swiss government has decided to take aim at online platforms such as Aliexpress and Wish, according to the broadcaster RTS.

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Swiss health insurance deductibles to rise automatically

Today, Switzerland’s parliament decided to bring in a system of regular increases in the deductibles for basic compulsory Swiss health insurance, according to the newspaper Le Matin. However, a plan to raise the the minimum deductible to CHF 500 was rejected by a clear majority.

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Three Swiss cities ranked in world’s top 10 most livable

Mercer’s 2019 livability ranking looks at 231 cities across the globe. Vienna comes top for the tenth year in a row, while Bagdad ranks last. Three Swiss cities are among the global top ten. Zurich is 2nd, Geneva 9th and Basel 10th. Bern, a fourth Swiss city, is not far behind in 14th place.

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Why there is so much egg pasta in Switzerland

Strolling through the pasta aisle of a Swiss supermarket, someone new to Switzerland might conclude that the locals prefer egg pasta over the eggless variety. And, while that might to some extent be true, there is another reason.

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Percentage of men in workforce declines in Switzerland

Recently published figures show a 7% decline in the percentage of men in Switzerland’s workforce between 1991 and 2018. The workforce figures, which include the unemployed, show a fall in male workforce participation from 81% to 74%, a 7% decline over 27 years.

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Decathlon to expand in Switzerland

The low-cost French sports goods chain has plans to expand in Switzerland. 14 new stores, employing between 500 and 600 staff, are planned for 2019, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes. Many of the new stores will be refurbished Athleticum stores. Décathlon teamed up with Athleticum in 2018.

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Drug makers paid Swiss doctors 12.5 million francs in 2017

Since 2016, drug makers have voluntarily published the amounts they pay to Swiss doctors, who prescribe drugs to patients. In 2017 the sum was CHF 12.5 million, according to the association Science Industries. In 2016, the same figure was CHF 14 million. While drug makers publish the amounts paid, the information published does not always reveal the names of doctors receiving the money.

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Average Swiss rent barely rises over 7 years

Recently published data show that close to 60% of households in Switzerland rented their home at an average cost of CHF 1,329 per month in 2017. Average monthly rents ranged from CHF 752 for a studio up to CHF 2,323 for 6 rooms or more.

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Swiss unemployment rate rises

There are various ways to measure unemployment. Switzerland’s standard measure looks at the number of people registered with unemployment offices across the country. By this measure Switzerland’s unemployment recently reached a 10 year low of 2.6%. Today, another unemployment measure was published. It shows a 0.1% increase in unemployment over the fourth quarter of 2018 to 4.6% or 227,000 people.

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Switzerland’s federal surplus even larger than expected

In October 2018, government number crunchers revised Switzerland’s federal forecast budget surplus up from CHF 0.3 billion to CHF 2.5 billion. Today, Bern announced that provisional calculations for 2018 now show a surplus of CHF 2.9 billion, CHF 0.4 billion more than last year’s revised figure. The increase was driven by strict spending discipline and higher than expected receipts, according to the press release.

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Switzerland’s gender pay gap closes further

A recent survey by the Federal Statistical Office shows the overall median pay gap in Switzerland’s private sector shrunk to 12% in 2016, down from 12.5% in 2014 and 15.6% in 2010. In 2016, median pay for women was CHF 6,011 francs a month and median pay for men was CHF 6,830. The gap rose to 18.54% for the highest management positions.

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Nearly Half of Swiss Admit to Stealing

Either at work, at a restaurant, on public transport or in a shop, nearly half of Swiss admit to stealing, according to a survey by moneyland.ch. 49% of the 1,500 questioned in the survey admitted to pocketing something without paying.

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Half of Swiss happy with their finances

A recent survey suggests that half of Swiss residents are satisfied with their financial situation. 6% said they have trouble making ends meet. In addition, 28% expect their finances to improve in 2019. Fewer women (25%) are optimistic than men (33%). 18% expect their finances to worsen and 54% expect no change.

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Swiss organic farm output doubles

Between 1999 and 2017 the amount of organic food produced on Swiss farms more than doubled. In 1999, 5.3% of Switzerland’s farm output was organic. By 2017 this figure had risen to 11.7%. In 1999, Swiss farms produced CHF 562 million worth of organic food. In 2017, they produced CHF 1.2 billion.

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