In the second quarter of 2020, public perception of the Swiss economy was again dominated by the corona crisis and was again marked by strong reputational gains.

The Swiss Economy Reputation Index (SERX) is characterised by the following developments in the second quarter of 2020:

  • Once again, the question of whether large companies in particular were aware of their locational responsibility, i.e. what exactly they were doing to support Switzerland as a business location, was a decisive factor in determining their reputation. The majority of Swiss companies have so far succeeded in meeting these societal expectations, as the improved social reputation shows.

The graph shows the indexed sedimented reputation development (SRI®) of SERX. The reference point for the indexation is January 1, 2008. The SRI® models the historically grown reputation anchored in public memory.

  • This change in the valuation perspective triggered by the corona crisis led to an overall improvement in the opinion climate towards the Swiss economy in the second quarter of the year. SERX rose - after 1.9 index points in the first quarter - by a further 1.1 points and now stands at 92.8 index points.
  • The financial sector again achieved strong reputational gains: after a plus of 2.8 points in the 1st quarter, the growth in reputation in the 2nd quarter of the year was also substantial at +2.5 index points. The banks in particular benefited from their positively assessed role in the handling of corona emergency loans as well as from a significantly lower level of public scandalisation than in previous years.
  • At the same time, the insurers were able to defend their top position in the industry rankings - despite sometimes harsh criticism in the context of the distinction between 'epidemic' and 'pandemic', which was considered "petty" - and also increased their relative level of attention thanks to increased societal activities.
  • In addition to the insurers, the life science and engineering industries also remain well positioned, although they too have had to contend with a loss of reputation. While the corona crisis is increasingly having a negative economic impact on the engineering industry, the life science sector has suffered setbacks in Covid 19 research, criticism of managers' salaries and multi-million fines for corruption cases. Overall, with regard to the real economy - despite extensive aid packages - concerns about the future economic consequences of the Corona crisis are becoming more formative.
  • The retail sector has significantly gained in relative public attention, albeit at the cost of a further deterioration in its reputation. In addition to accusations of price suppression and profits at the taxpayer's expense, individual retail companies were also increasingly exposed to socially and morally motivated criticism in the context of the prevailing debates on racism, climate change and sexism.

SERX - Swiss Economy Reputation Index

The Swiss Economy Reputation Index (SERX), which is currently made up of 157 private sector and state-related companies, shows on a consolidated basis how the public perception of the Swiss economy and its key sectors has developed over time.