According to the Crea Institute of the University of Lausanne, the six cantons of the largely French-speaking Suisse romande did far better economically in 2013 than expected. The gross domestic product (GDP) of the region, which represents one quarter of the Swiss economy, or almost CHF 150 billion, grew by 2.1% rather than the 1.3% forecast last year. Suisse romande has also recovered far more quickly than the rest of the country. “This is indeed surprising and far better than expected,” noted Swiss Radio’s Frederic Mamais.
According to the Crea study, which was released by a group of cantonal banks in Lausanne on Wednesday, the economy recovered extremely quickly from the 2009 shock. This was due in part to low unemployment, favourable demographic factors and solid exports, but primarily because of strong local demand. The report maintains that Suisse romande can be expected to achieve 2.6% growth in 2014 and 3% in 2015. At the same time, the institute stressed that the region’s performance is still not as good as it was in 2007, 2008 or even 2010. It also said the region’s public expenditure was well above that of the rest of Switzerland, as is its unemployment rate.