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Switzerland


    • Overview:
      Switzerland's economy - one of the most prosperous and stable in the world - is nonetheless undergoing a stressful adjustment after both the inflationary boom of the late 1980s and the electorate's rejection of membership in the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1992. So far the decision to remain outside the European single market structure does not appear to have harmed Swiss interests. In December 1994, the Swiss began bilateral negotiations with the EU aimed at establishing closer ties in areas of mutual interest and progressing toward the free circulation of persons, goods, capital, and services between the two parties. The Swiss emerged from a three-year recession in mid-1993 and posted 1.8% GDP growth in 1994. The Swiss central bank's tight monetary policies brought inflation down from about 4% in 1992 to just under 1% in 1994. Unemployment has fallen slightly from 5.1% in 1993 to 4.7% in 1994. Swiss per capita output, living standards, education, and health care remain unsurpassed in Europe. The country has few mineral resources, but its spectacular natural beauty sustains a substantial tourism industry.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $148.4 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      1.8% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $22,080 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      0.9% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      4.7% (1994 est.)

    • Budget:

        revenues:
        $26.7 billion

        expenditures:
        $32 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

    • Exports:
      $69.6 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

        commodities:
        machinery and equipment, precision instruments, metal products, foodstuffs, textiles and clothing

        partners:
        Western Europe 63.1% (EU countries 56%, other 7.1%), US 8.8%, Japan 3.4%

    • Imports:
      $68.2 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)

        commodities:
        agricultural products, machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, textiles, construction materials

        partners:
        Western Europe 79.2% (EU countries 72.3%, other 6.9%), US 6.4%

    • External debt:
      $NA

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 0% (1993 est.)

    • Electricity:

        capacity:
        15,430,000 kW

        production:
        58 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        6,699 kWh (1993)

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

    • Agriculture:
      dairy farming predominates; less than 50% self-sufficient in food; must import fish, refined sugar, fats and oils (other than butter), grains, eggs, fruits, vegetables, meat

    • Illicit drugs:
      money-laundering center

    • Economic aid:

        donor:
        ODA and OOF commitments (1970-89), $3.5 billion

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

    • Exchange rates:
      Swiss francs, franken, or franchi (SwF) per US$1 - 1.2880 (January 1995), 1.3677 (1994), 1.4776 (1993), 1.4062 (1992), 1.4340 (1991), 1.3892 (1990)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year






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