HSBC Navigator provides comprehensive insight into the now, next and how for business, representing the views of over 9,100 business decision-makers across 35 markets. This report gives an understanding of how businesses like yours can continue to grow now and in the future.

Economy takes blows from external forces

Switzerland’s famously robust economy is weathering a number of challenges. The US-China trade tensions have helped push the Swiss franc to new heights – a dilemma for a central bank with policy rates significantly in negative territory for years1. Swiss exports have been dampened by the currency’s strength and by weakening demand from EU trading partners. Growth predictions from the Swiss government for 2019 were cut to 0.8%, though the 2020 forecast remains brighter2.

State of play

Swiss put their faith in the workforce 

Despite the headwinds, Swiss businesses are optimistic about their prospects for the next year. Four in five anticipate growth. The opening up of new markets is the most important contributor to this positive outlook; the Swiss are also much more likely than businesses elsewhere to see the motivation and skills of their workforce as growth drivers. However, fewer Swiss companies expect growth of 15% or more than in Europe and worldwide.

The outlook for international trade is good; almost three-quarters of businesses are positive about prospects for the next couple of years. This represents a slight dip in optimism over the previous year, perhaps reflecting the fallout from trade disputes and trends abroad.

4 in 5

Swiss businesses are optimistic about their prospects for the next year – four in five anticipate growth

Expectations for future business growth

Expect sales to grow* - Next year
Grow by 15% or more – Next year
Grow by 6-14% - Next year
Grow by 5% or less – Next year
Stay the same – Next year
Expect sales to shrink – Next year

Next year

Grow by 5% or less


Stay the same


Expect sales to shrink  


Next 5 years

Grow by 5% or less


Stay the same


Expect sales to shrink  


*This is the sum of grow by 5% or less, 6-14%, 15% or more.

What you need to know

  1. 1

    81% of Swiss companies expect sales to grow in the next year.

  2. 2

    38% are more optimistic than last year, compared with 41% in Europe and 47% globally.

  3. 3

    While half of businesses globally expect total or significant change over the next five years, only a third of Swiss businesses anticipate radical disruption.

What your business can do

  • Strengthen your workforce. 22% of Swiss companies are investing in skills, and 15% in employee wellbeing.

  • Seek out new markets. Swiss businesses see this as the major external driver for their growth.

  • Consider a digital upgrade of your supply chain – an increasingly popular way to reduce costs and make stockholding more efficient.