Reform and reconstruction of the Swiss economy

Bruno Gehrig, Member of the Governing Board

Annual General Meeting of the Lucerne Industrial Association, 30.04.1998

The speech analyses the recent restructuring of the Swiss economy as well as the prospects for business activity and growth in the coming years. As a result of the protracted period of stagnation and the high flexibility of the labour market, the structural adjustments in Switzerland are now farther advanced than in other countries. In particular, the competitiveness of the internationally oriented sectors of industry has improved significantly. An urgent need for reform, however, continues to exist in certain public sectors and in a number of domestic branches. In these areas structural adjustment needs to be stepped up vigorously in order to secure sustained growth for the entire Swiss economy in the future. Business activity, which is in the process of strengthening, offers an ideal opportunity to implement the necessary reforms in an economically favourable environment. The SNB aims to ensure that monetary conditions remain adequately stable. Despite a measure of uncertainty, the introduction of the euro is not expected to jeopardise monetary stability.