Back in the black: All Swiss cantons report a budget surplus
For the first time in recorded history, every canton of Switzerland has reported a budget surplus, according to the Conference of Cantonal Finance Directors (FDK). Via taxes, budgeting and distributions by the government, the 26 regions registered a total net surplus of 4,59 billion francs in 2022.
Swiss cantons register surpluses for 2022
According to the data released by the FDK, reported in SRF, all 26 Swiss cantons reported a budget surplus in 2022. This is the best result since records began to be reported in 1999 - second place goes to 2007 when only Ticino and Appenzell-Ausserrhoden reported a deficit.
The canton with the highest revenue last year was Canton Zurich, with state coffers swelling by 1,066 billion francs. Geneva (820 million), Bern (446 million) and Basel-Land (289 million) rounded out the top four. Unlike other more centralised nations, Swiss cantons maintain a strong influence on local affairs and control the budgets of a number of public services, from healthcare and social security to transport.
Cantonal finances remain strong despite instability
Speaking to SRF, the head of fiscal policy at the Institute for Swiss Economic Policy (IWP), Martin Mosler, said that he was surprised that every canton managed to steady their finances, especially as threats of budget cuts and inflation loomed large, and global instability remained an issue. Since 2021, five cantons - which SRF noted were mainly in rural regions - managed to right their finances and become financially healthy.
"The fact that the cantonal budgets still survived such shocks is a testament to the robustness of the Swiss economy," Mosler noted. He explained that each canton has experienced a massive income boost in both personal and business taxes after the COVID pandemic and that 10 out of the 26 would have had a deficit were it not for the generous dividends provided by the Swiss National Bank last year.
Swiss economy going from strength to strength
Mosler concluded that with each canton having a number of jobs that are yet to be filled, every region could continue to benefit from a rise in tax revenue this year. With the Swiss economy set to avoid a recession in 2023, the country’s regions are set to go from strength to strength.