Interview with economic researcher – “We are far, far from returning to normal”Although the Federal Council is relaxing the measures against the Coronavirus, attributed to Jan-Egbert Sturm with a rise in unemployment – far beyond this year. Dominik Feusi0 KommentareEr there is no reason for complacency: Jan-Egbert Sturm, head of the economic research unit of ETH Zurich. Photo: Dominique Meienberg

is The Federal Council relaxes most of the restrictions on the 6. June. The economy then goes back to normal?

It would be nice if the economy could work again as before. But we are far, far from a normalization removed. Consumer sentiment in Germany has to recover first properly, and then Switzerland, as an exporting country, especially, the Problem is that the international economy is still running long as it had been before the crisis.


In Switzerland, we believe we have the health crisis. But in many countries this is not the case, especially in important sales markets for the Swiss economy, for example, in the USA, the UK or in the European Union.

Is expected in spite of the loosening with a recession?

Yes. We will see in certain areas of a recovery, particularly in the retail and service sector. But we are far from where we were. Especially in the industry, I fear that the crisis has only just begun really. There could be a lot of work orders from the beginning of the year. But now, empty order books, and there are hardly New. And where there are jobs, it no longer comes to production shortages, because supply chains are, and therefore, the intermediate products are missing. In these industries, the crisis will last much longer.

when will recover the world economy?

This is difficult to say, because it depends on the course of the pandemic. In China, the economy is up and running again reasonably well, the power of hope. But for Switzerland, the USA and the EU are particularly important.

“A swift end to the support can lead to unemployment.”

Can measures the Support, be it cancel out those of the Confederation or the cantons, already?

Because you have to watch out for. A swift end to the support can lead to unemployment. It’s not all the company will come quickly from the short-time work, and there will be some, despite the easing of the measures to give up. We must not delude ourselves.

it Needs a stimulus program, as of the trade unions is required?

The state should consider how it can bring the engine of the economy faster. I could imagine monetary policy measures, for example, the national Bank could prevent an increase in the social contributions by the unemployment insurance. Or then you could keep that in the Emergency created Instrument of the loans provisionally and an Instrument to make business investment boost. But, in order to recover the global economy. Since Switzerland is, and remains, dependent on foreign countries.

Is to be expected with a further increase in unemployment?

Yes. Unemployment reacts with a lag to the economic downturn. Even if the short-time work has saved, will not all return to their jobs. But that also means that we have not reached the peak of unemployment. We expect this year an average of 3.6 percent. In the next year with 4.3 percent. Because, you see, that we expect negative effects of the crisis well into next year. Such values are exceptional for Switzerland. The economic crisis is not yet weathered.

“I would be happy if the taxes would not be increased.”

Bourgeois politicians are demanding, you don’t need to deregulate and cut taxes.

I would be glad if the taxes would not be increased. The government debt of Switzerland will quickly rise, and then there will be demands to raise taxes quickly to this situation. However, in the current environment this is not possible and could have disastrous consequences.

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