Swiss industry bouncing back from pandemic

Engineering orders from abroad are tipped to rebound to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

The Swiss mechanical and electrical engineering sectors were boosted by a significant rebound in export sales and new orders in the first half of 2021 as the industry recovered from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This content was published on August 24, 2021 - 14:37

Sales picked up 9.3% from the same period last year, reported the industry umbrella body Swissmem on Tuesday.

And despite serious logistical backlogs and a shortage of many goods, exports across all geographies increased by 15.6% to reach CHF33.4 billion ($36.5 billion).

The encouraging figures echoed optimism from government economists who earlier this year predicted a 3.6% growth in gross domestic product (GDP) across all industries.

Swissmem companies, which also include precision tool and machine makers, suffered from the global lockdown last year as the Swiss economy suffered its worst annual dip in 45 years.

The industry lost 9,000 jobs over the course of 2020, but Swissmem said it “assumes that the number of employees will increase in the coming months due to the positive business development.”

A survey of member companies saw 53% predict the increase in overseas orders to continue for the remainder of 2021.

“The high number of incoming orders indicates that sales in the second half of the year will clearly exceed pre-crisis level,” said Swissmem director Stefan Brupbacher.

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