Pandemic response set to push Swiss budget into $22 bln deficit

ZURICH, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Switzerland’s government expects to run a budget deficit of 20 billion Swiss francs ($22.05 billion) in 2020, it said on Wednesday, as 18.1 billion francs in extraordinary spending to tackle the COVID-19 crisis plunges finances into the red.

The federal government in August had projected a budget deficit of 20.9 billion francs for 2020, not the small surplus originally envisaged, amid lower tax receipts and costly programmes to offset the coronavirus’s hit.

The Swiss public sector budget deficit is set to narrow to 1.2% of gross domestic product in 2021 from 3.7% this year as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic keeps finances in the red, the finance ministry said last month.

$1 = 0.9070 Swiss francs Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields