COVID has cost Swiss economy billions, analysts say
The KOF Swiss Economic Institute in ETH Zurich has estimated that the pandemic has cost the Swiss economy 50 billion Swiss francs over the last two years.
Switzerland lost 50 billion Swiss francs in income
The study analysed prospective GDP growth in Switzerland, had the pandemic not occurred, and compared their findings with the real figures. The KOF estimated that Switzerland lost 50 billion Swiss francs in income over the last two years, due to a combination of COVID restrictions and generous compensation provided to businesses that were forced to close.
To put this into perspective, that is a loss of 12.000 Swiss francs per person working in Switzerland. If every employee in the country were to earn 6.000 Swiss francs a month, it would take two months of free labour to accommodate for the shortfall.
Financial damage could have been much worse, say experts
“Without these [financial] interventions, the damage would have been much greater,” said ETH professor Jan-Egbert Sturm, who noted that the state has invested most of the shortfall into keeping businesses afloat. Health economist at ETH, Stefan Felder, said the losses showed “only part of the picture” and that other things decisive for social welfare, like quality of life, had fallen “by almost a fifth in Switzerland, as a result of pandemic measures.”
Katja Rost, from the University of Zurich, agreed that all of the consequences of the pandemic cannot be expressed through the massive loss of money alone. “Social inequality is steadily increasing,” she noted, highlighting that the gap between high and low performing learners in schools had widened. She said psychological issues caused by COVID are also likely to have a large impact, saying, "It will certainly take some time before everything is back to the way it was before corona."