Federal finances at a glance

2021 results

Financing statement, financing of expenditure

in CHF bn

The COVID-19 pandemic led to substantial additional expenditure for the Confederation once again in 2021. As a result, 2021 saw another large financing deficit of 12.2 billion. Following the sharp downturn in 2020, economic growth experienced a robust recovery in 2021. Real economic growth of 4.9% was assumed in the 2021 budget; in actual fact, the economy grew by 3.6%. However, as the economic downturn in 2020 was also less severe than feared at the time (-2.6% instead of -6.2%), the economy performed better overall than expected in the budget. Receipts grew by a substantial 5.6%, or 4.0 billion, year on year, and reached the budgeted level (+0.4%; +0.3 bn). Expenditure remained at the previous year's level (+0.5%; +0.5 bn), but was significantly higher than anticipated in the budget (+7.7%, +6.3 bn), as additional measures had to be taken during the year to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

A cyclical deficit of 1.7 billion would have been permitted in the ordinary budget because of the capacity underutilization. The actual ordinary financing deficit in 2021 was 1.4 billion, which meant that the debt brake requirements for the ordinary budget were marginally exceeded (structural surplus of 0.3 bn). Measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic continued to shape the Confederation's fiscal policy (see Overview). Coming in at 14.1 billion, COVID-19 expenditure was only slightly lower than a year earlier (15.0 bn). It was incurred mainly as extraordinary expenditure (12.3 bn). Extraordinary expenditure is debited to the amortization account, which had a deficit of 20.3 billion at the end of 2021.

The substantial funding requirements were covered by the Confederation increasing its long-term liabilities (+4.9 bn, esp. bonds) and at the same time reducing its non-administrative assets (-1.0 bn, esp. cash and other liquid assets). The remaining funding requirements were financed by the high level of tax receipts, partly because withholding tax refunds remained low in 2021. Gross debt thus rose to 108.6 billion (+5.0 bn). Net debt (gross debt less non-administrative assets) climbed by 6.0 billion to 76.1 billion.

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Last modification 31.03.2022

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