A well-functioning economy requires an economic policy based on reliable analyses. The Economic Policy Directorate prepares scientifically sound forecasts and analyses to support the federal government in its economic policy decisions.
The Economic Policy Directorate’s key responsibilities at a glance
- Labour market and social policy analyses
- Calculation of quarterly GDP figures
- Economic forecasts
- Consumer sentiment
- Regulatory analyses and policy
- Growth and competition policy
- Official and economic publications
The Economic Policy Directorate analyses and reports on Switzerland’s economic development. In so doing, it not only focuses on short- and medium-term business cycles. It also monitors long-term economic developments, and analyses trend growth, productivity developments and other key success factors for a prosperous business location. In addition, the Directorate is responsible for the economy’s competition policy framework conditions, for instance by further developing the Cartel Act and the Internal Market Act. The Directorate staff provide the basis for decision-making in the form of analyses of global economic integration and the challenges posed by the digital economy. The Directorate represents Switzerland’s position in various economic policy committees of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It also supports policies in sectors such as energy, environment, finance, healthcare and infrastructure. It examines projects from other offices and departments from an economic point of view, and seeks to propose more efficient options.
Focus on economic development
The Economic Policy Directorate monitors the national and international economic situation and analyses current economic developments. It calculates the quarterly trends in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in accordance with international standards. As part of the Federal Government’s Expert Group for economic forecasts, the Directorate prepares forecasts for the Swiss economy. Four times a year, it issues the consumer sentiment survey.
Bases for policy decisions
The Economic Policy Directorate prepares economic bases for decisions regarding labour market policies and uses this expertise to act as an interface between social and economic policies. The issues vary according to existing or emerging challenges. They include fields such as migration, youth unemployment, older workers, female labour market participation, atypical labour relations and education policy issues. Its activities also include analyses of general labour market trends and potential labour market policy instruments. Furthermore, the Directorate evaluates the effectiveness of public employment services and active labour market measures at regular intervals.
As the centre of expertise for regulatory issues, the Economic Policy Directorate is committed to reducing administrative burdens and improving regulation. This provides an effective means of preventing market and state failure and contributes to sustainable economic growth. The Directorate assists the offices concerned in analysing the economic impact of new or amended acts and ordinances as part of its regulatory impact assessments. In addition, the Directorate is responsible for crosscutting issues such as the regulatory brake or regulatory costs.
The Economic Policy Directorate assumes editorial responsibility for the following publications issued by the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER): the magazine ‘Die Volkswirtschaft’ (available in German and French) and the official gazette portal, through which the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce (SOGC) and various cantonal official gazettes are published. The Publications section is also responsible for operating and developing the platform simap.ch, which is a central eGovernment application of the Confederation and the cantons.
Last modification 20.01.2021