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Household wealth returns to pre-crisis level

The net worth of Swiss households has bounced back to the level it had prior to the financial crisis of 2008, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced on Friday.

In 2009, the net worth of households rose by 6.5 per cent to SFr2,595 billion ($2,615 billion), once again reaching its 2007 level.

In addition to savings, the main reasons for the increase were a recovery in share prices and the continued rise in real estate prices, according to the SNB.

The net worth per capita has increased to around SFr333,000, compared with SFr316,000 in 2008.

Rising stock market prices had a strong influence on financial assets; about one third of the price losses suffered in 2008 was recouped in 2009 on stock markets in Switzerland and abroad.

Deposits with banks and Swiss Post’s financial services grew by SFr23 billion to SFr523 billion. Contributions to occupational pension schemes exceeded the benefits drawn and price gains were recorded on pension fund investments.

The wealth report comes just a week after the first national poverty conference, which called attention to the fact that one in ten people in Switzerland is poor.

In 2008, the poverty line was set at SFr2,300 ($2,375) a month for a single-person household, SFr3,900 for a single-parent/two-children family and SFr4,800 for a married couple with two children.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR