Economic Outline

flag Liechtenstein Liechtenstein: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

Liechtenstein, whose economy is heavily dependent on the financial and banking sectors (around one-third of GDP), has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world. Its high exposure to international markets and small population (39.3 thousand people in 2022) are sources of volatility. As a small and open economy, Liechtenstein was particularly affected by the slump in the global economy in 2020 but recovered quickly on the back of a strong rebound in global trade. The generally high sensitivity of Liechtenstein’s economy vis-à-vis the global business cycle suggests a pronounced impact in case of a global recession. Based on preliminary figures from the Office for Statistics, the GDP at current prices remained stagnant in 2022 compared to the preceding year, showing a slight decline of -0.2%, but overall recovered from the significant decline recorded in 2020 (-5.9 %). With an average annual inflation rate of 2.8% in 2022, Liechtenstein experienced a contraction in economic output when contrasted with the high-growth performance of 2021.

Liechtenstein’s public finances are characterized by virtually zero debt and large financial reserves. The country has recorded budget surpluses since 2014, and even in 2020, with pandemic-related expenses, the general government level still had a surplus of CHF 445 million. In the Financial Statistics 2021, published in 2023 by the Office for Statistics (AS), the public sector in Liechtenstein recorded income of CHF 1.854 billion in 2021, representing a decline of 20.4% compared to the previous year. Taxation again made the largest contribution to the public purse, accounting for 52.3% of income. During the reporting year, government spending totaled CHF 1.678 billion overall, reflecting a decrease of 10.9% year-on-year. Social security benefits and compensation for employees comprised the largest shares of public expenditure at 34.4% and 21.6% respectively. Investments accounted for CHF 82.3 million, representing 4.9% of government spending. In total, a positive budget balance of CHF 176.8 million was reported for 2021. After the exceptional year influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Liechtenstein returned to a degree of normality in 2021, as stated by the AS. Government spending represented 22.6% of Liechtenstein’s GDP, compared to 25.1% in the previous year. The state’s net assets amounted to approximately CHF 9.8 billion as of year-end 2021, reflecting an increase of CHF 389.9 million (4.2%) from the previous year. Just under 42% of the state’s net assets were held by social security funds, with the state level accounting for 36.6% and municipalities and citizen cooperatives for 21.4%. In recent years, the country has stepped up its efforts to shed its reputation as a tax haven and has committed to complying with global standards of transparency, eliminating its banking secrecy laws and thus being removed from the OECD's grey list of Non-Cooperative Countries. Liechtenstein was officially removed from the EU's grey list in October 2018. The country has implemented a number of bilateral agreements with regard to taxation and financial crimes, including with the United Kingdom and the United States.

Despite Liechtenstein's high level of business cycle volatility, the country has managed to maintain its employment and business activity quite effectively over the past few decades. As of the end of 2022, Liechtenstein's total employment stood at 42,514 employees, which actually exceeds the number of inhabitants (39,677). More than half of these employees are commuters who mostly reside in Switzerland and Austria, as Liechtenstein was given an exception to the EU's agreement on the free movement of persons, enabling the country not to grant residence permits to its workers.


Monetary Indicators 20152016201720182019
Swiss Franc (CHF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Main Sectors of Industry

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Value Added (in % of GDP) 0.2 40.3 56.1

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Return to top

Sources of General Economic Information

Useful Resources
Governmental portal
Financial Market Authority (Finanzmarktaufsicht) (FMA)
National Bank of Liechtenstein

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.


© eexpand, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: May 2024