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Switzerland Economy


Switzerland has a stable modern mixed market economy, with a nominal per capita GDP that is higher than those of the larger western European economies, the United States, and Japan ranking 6th behind Luxembourg, Norway, Qatar, Iceland and Ireland. If adjusted for purchasing power parity it ranks 5th. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report currently ranks Switzerland's economy as the most competitive in the world. For much of the 20th century, Switzerland was the wealthiest country in Europe by a considerable margin. Its median household income in 2003 was an estimated 96,000 CHF, the equaivalent of roughly $88.422,21 USD in pucharsing power parity, considerably higher than in other post-industrial-countries, such as the US, Canada or UK.

Switzerland is home to several large multinational corporations. Notable among these are Nestle, UBS AG, Zurich Financial Services, Credit Suisse, Novartis, Roche, ABB, Swiss Re, and The Swatch Group. Switzerland is ranked as one of the most powerful economies in the world.

Banking, tourism, pharmaceuticals and chemicals are important industries in Switzerland. The manufacture of precision instruments for engineering is important, as is watch-making, and the biological sciences industries as well enjoy a high place in the Swiss economy. The many international organisations in Switzerland contribute to the Swiss economy and labour market.

Switzerland's unemployment rate has increased since the beginning of the 21st century, where it stood at a low 1.8% in 2001. The unemployment rate doubled due to problematic low economic growth to 3.9% in 2006 and decreased again to 3.3% in 2007.


Economy - overview
Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labour force, and a per capita GDP larger than that of the big Western European economies. The Swiss in recent years have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness. Switzerland remains a safe haven for investors, because it has maintained a degree of bank secrecy and has kept up the franc's long-term external value. Reflecting the anemic economic conditions of Europe, GDP growth stagnated during the 2001-03 period, improved during 2004-05, and jumped to 2.9% in 2006, and 2.6% in 2007. Unemployment has remained at less than half the EU average.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$300.9 billion (2007 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$407.7 billion (2007 est.)

GDP - real growth rate
2.6% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)
$39,800 (2007 est.)

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