Economics of the CHF

The Franc's Presence Globally

The Swiss economy is largely impacted by the activity of the Swiss National Bank and its active participation in the forex process. Since the US's abandonment of the gold standard in 1971 it has been the policy of the Swiss National Bank to actively push the Franc in and out of the forex market place. As such, traders dealing in Franc should pay very close to the activity of the Swiss National Bank. Various economic and political factors combine to drive the ever-changing value of the CHF, but key to traders are the many economic indicators pertinent to the Swiss economy.

Some of the relevant economic indicators to the CHF are released directly through the Swiss National Bank, while others may be released from private data analysis firms. Each of the economic indicators listed and described below have the potential to affect the price and stability of the CHF upon their release. There are other indicators that are directly relevant to the CHF, but that have been excluded from this list.

The economic indicators outlined below can potentially move the price of any currency pair the CHF is involved with. These currency pairs include:


Some of the below reports are commonly released by most economic powers around the globe, others are specific only to the Swiss economy. The reports are listed in alphabetical order, for more on the report and its strength ranking take a look at each individual indicator description below. For the date and time of the next release for each report please browse our current economic calendar.

Reports Listed in Alphabetical Order

Consumption Indicator

The consumption indicator is a measurement of the total consumer expenditure on goods and services for a given period of time. This indicator is typically released 3 months before actual or official statistics are reported to the public.

CPI m/m

CPI stands for Consumer Price Index, a fundamental indicator that establishes the rate of price inflation or price increase as seen by consumers when purchasing goods and services. The Consumer Price Index is touted as a timely and detailed inflation indicator. Typically, it is assumed that a rising trend in CPI will positively impact a nation's currency. Central banks are most concerned with price stability. If inflation rates are continually rising interest rates will likely be increased in an effort to bring prices back down. Globally, increased interest rates are said to entice foreign investment flows, which would of course, in turn, increase the demand and the standing of a nation's currency on a global scale. CPI is a well respected fundamental indicator and is ranked highly in terms of its potential impact in the market.

Employment Level

Employment Level measures the total workers, both full and part-time, that were employed during the previous quarter. Because consumer spending is so closely tied to the number of new jobs created, the Employment Level indicator is closely watched by traders and economists alike who understand its ultimate connection to GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Positive trends seen in this indicator imply a strengthening economy.

GDP q/q

Gross Domestic Product is considered by most the broadest, most comprehensive barometer of a country's overall economic condition. It measures the sum of all market values on final goods and services produced in a country (domestically) during a specific period of time. A rising trend seen in a country's GDP of course indicates that the economy of said country is improving; as a result foreign investors are more inclined to seek investment opportunities within that nation's bond and stock markets. It is not uncommon to see interest rate hikes as a follow-up to a rising GDP, as central banks will have an increased confidence in their own growing economies. The combination of a rising GDP and potentially higher interest rates can lead to an increase in demand for that nation's currency on a global scale.

Leading Index m/m

The Swiss Institute for Business Cycle Research (KOF) publishes this indicator monthly. Essentially, the report combines data from 25 leading indicators in an effort to gauge the overall health of the economy. Some of the indicators included are stock prices, interest rate spreads, consumer expectations, housing starts, etc.

PPI m/m

PPI stands for Producer Price Index, a fundamental indicator that establishes the rate of inflation, or in other words, the rate of price changes as seen by manufacturers who must purchase goods and services. The Producer Price Index is touted as a timely and detailed inflation indicator. Typically, it is assumed that a rising trend in PPI will positively impact a nation's currency. Logically enough, when manufacturers are forced to pay higher prices for the goods and services they need, these higher prices are then soon seen by the consumer. As such, the PPI is considered an indication of consumer inflation. The potential impact of PPI in the market is well respected by traders, though it is generally not thought to have as large of an impact as does its closely related cousin; Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is usually released shortly after PPI.

Retail Sales y/y

Retail Sales is a measurement of the total value of retail sales in a given period. Because a large portion of consumer spending is accounted for in this indicator and because this indicator is typically the first of the month to report numbers concerned with consumer spending, traders tend watch this indicator closely. Retail Sales gives traders a good look at the consumer spending situation, which of course, will account for approximately half of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). In other words, traders watch Retail Sales because of its lead into consumer spending, which, in turn, is important because of its lead into GDP. Rising trends seen within this indicator should positively affect the standing of a nation's currency.


SVME stands for Schweizerischer Verband fur Materialwirtschaft und Einkauf; PMI of course standing for Purchasing Managers Index. Before the report is published purchasing managers are surveyed on the present situation of economic factors relevant to their position, factors such as new orders, inventories, production, employment, etc. Traders tend to keep an eye on this indicator because it tends to lead (leading indicator) into data that will later be released. This is because purchasing managers have an early view at the performance of their company. The indicator uses a reading of 50 to measure expansion, or the lack thereof. A reading above 50 would indicate economic expansion.

Trade Balance

Trade balance compares the amount of imported goods and services to the amount of exported goods and services of a given economy. Economically, it is in the best interest of an economy to have more goods and services exported than have been imported. Thus, a positive trade balance measures a period in which more goods and services were exported than were imported. An increased number of exports translate to an increase in the demand for said nation's currency, as other countries will be forced to exchange currency in order to purchase the exports. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is also largely impacted by the trade balance, as an increase in the demand for exports will increase the work load of domestic factories, thus increasing employment levels.