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Switzerland: Staff Report for the 2014 Article IV Consultation—Informational Annex

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Published Date:
May 2014
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Fund Relations

(Data as of February 28, 2014)

Membership Status:

Joined 5/29/92; Switzerland has accepted the obligations of Article VIII, Sections 2, 3, and 4; and maintains a system free of restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions except for restrictions in place for security reasons notified to the Fund pursuant to Decision No. 144-(52/51).

On October 04, 2013, Switzerland notified the IMF of the exchange restrictions that have been imposed against certain countries, individuals, and entities, in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and EU regulations.

General Resources Account

SDR MillionPercent Quota
Quota3,458.50100.00
Fund holdings of currency3,206.6797.72
Reserve position in Fund251.837.28
New arrangement to borrow1,383.37

SDR Department

SDR MillionsPercent Allocation
Net cumulative allocations3,288.04100.00
Holdings3,132.7795.28

Outstanding Purchases and Loans: None

Financial Arrangements: None

Projected Payments to Fund1:

Forthcoming
20142015201620172018
Principal
Charges/Interest0.160.200.200.200.20
Total0.160.200.200.200.20

Exchange Rate Arrangement:

The de jure exchange rate arrangement is free floating; the exchange rate of the Swiss franc is determined by market forces in the foreign exchange market. However, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) reserves the right to intervene in the foreign exchange market. All settlements are made at free market rates. On September 6, 2011, the SNB set a minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per euro to stop the appreciation of the franc and committed to defending the limit by buying foreign currency in unlimited quantities. The SNB publishes information regarding its foreign exchange transactions in its annual accountability report. In 2013, the SNB’ commitment to defending the minimum exchange rate remained unchanged. After a short period of volatility, the Swiss franc has followed an appreciating trend within a 2 percent band against the euro since end-May, 2013. Therefore, the de facto exchange rate has been reclassified to a crawl-like arrangement from other managed, effective May 29, 2013.

Technical Assistance: None

Resident Representatives: None

Other: FSAP Update, December 2013

Statistical Issues

1. Switzerland’s economic and financial statistics are adequate for surveillance purposes. Switzerland generally publishes timely economic statistics and posts most of the data and the underlying documentation on the internet. In June 1996, Switzerland subscribed to the Fund’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), and its metadata are currently posted on the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board. Switzerland is in full observance of SDDS requirements, and it is availing itself of the SDDS’s flexibility options on dissemination of production index data (for periodicity and timeliness) and of wages and earnings data (for periodicity). The Swiss Federal Council has come out in favor of Switzerland participating in the IMF’s new, extended statistical standard SDDS Plus. Implementing the requirements of SDDS Plus in Switzerland—a task in which an interagency working group(SIF, SNB, FSO, FFA, FSIO, SECO, and FINMA) is to play an active role—will take several years. However, a number of statistical gaps and deficiencies remain, mainly reflecting a lack of resources and the limited authority of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) to request information:

  • reliable general government finance statistics appear with considerable lags, mainly due to delays in compiling fiscal accounts at the level of cantons and communes;

  • pension statistics are published with a long lag;

  • GDP by industry appears with a considerable lag.

To address deficiencies, the authorities are taking or intend to take the following steps:

2. Progress has been made in the area of balance of payments (BOP) statistics. In 2013, the content-related revision of surveys in connection with financial flows (investment BOP) was completed. Reporting institutions will submit data according to the new concept for the first time for 2014 Q3. The new surveys aim, among other things, to meet the requirements of the bilateral statistical agreement between Switzerland and the EU. This means in particular that more details on the breakdown of financial flows by country will be collected. To date, the presentation of Switzerland’s BOP has been based on the fifth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5). In 2013, preparatory work was undertaken to place the publication of the BOP on the methodological basis of the sixth edition (BPM6) as of 2014 Q1. The SNB will reclassify the old data series in line with BPM6 when publishing the BOP data for 2014 Q1, in order to ensure that new and old data are comparable and that long data series are available.

3. Switzerland has continued to provide data on Financial Soundness Indicators (FSIs) and participated in the 2009 Coordinated Direct Investment Survey. The data and metadata for both these initiatives have been posted on the IMF website. In addition, reporting banks submitted data for the revised locational banking statistics and consolidated banking statistics surveys for the first time in 2013. Both surveys are conducted in collaboration with the BIS. Also in 2013, the SNB began to transmit FSB Data Gaps Initiative related data to the central data hub specially set up for this initiative and hosted by the BIS. In the field of statistics on cashless payment transactions, the various surveys are currently being thoroughly revised. The prime aim of the revision is to enable a full reflection of the technological innovations of the past few years in the area of cashless payment transactions. Reporting institutions are obliged to submit the revised surveys for the first time as of December 31, 2014 (reference date).

4. The FSO has taken various steps in 2013 to improve core business statistics. In November 2013, new business census results were published for the first time since 2008, based mainly on administrative data. As expected, the new approach led to a significant extension of the statistical universe and enabled the FSO to take into account small business units which were below the thresholds in the census in the past. The FSO also initiated the revision of the job statistics in order to integrate the new universe in the survey. The FSO plans to publish results according to the 2008 version of the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008) in September 2014. The timeliness of dissemination of national accounts data will improve sequentially and data on the sequence of accounts should be disseminated at t+10 beginning in 2016.

Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance(As of April 9, 2013)
Date of Latest ObservationDate ReceivedFrequency of Data6Frequency of Reporting6Frequency of Publication6
Exchange RatesApr 13Apr 13D and MM and MD and M
International Reserve Assets andMar 13Apr 13MMM
Reserve Liabilities of the Monetary
Authorities1
Reserve/Base MoneyMar 13Apr 13MMM
Broad MoneyMar 13Apr 13MMM
Central Bank Balance SheetMar 13Apr 13MMM
Consolidated Balance Sheet of theMar 13Apr 13MMM
Banking System
Interest Rates2Mar 13Apr 13D and MM and MD and M
Consumer Price IndexMar 13Apr 13MMM
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and2011Apr 13AAA
Composition of Financing – General
Government3, 4
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance andFeb 13Mar 13MMM
Composition of Financing – Central
Government3
Stocks of Central Government andQ4/12Mar 13QQQ
Central Government-Guaranteed Debt5
External Current Account BalanceQ4/12Apr 13QQQ
Net International Investment PositionQ4/12Apr 13QQQ
Exports and Imports of Goods and ServicesFeb 13Apr 13MMM
GDP/GNPQ4/12Mar 13QQQ
Gross External Debt2012Mar 13QQQ

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially-determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic non-bank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Daily (D), Weekly (W), Monthly (M), Quarterly (Q), Annually (A); Irregular (I); and Not Available (NA)

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially-determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic non-bank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Daily (D), Weekly (W), Monthly (M), Quarterly (Q), Annually (A); Irregular (I); and Not Available (NA)

When a member has overdue financial obligations outstanding for more than three months, the amount of such arrears will be shown in this section.

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