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Balance of payments breaks all records

Exports and imports of goods increased by more than 10 per cent in 2000


Switzerland's current account surplus rose by SFr10 billion ($6 billion) in the year 2000, due mainly to a sharp increase in income on Swiss direct investment abroad, the Swiss National Bank reported on Thursday.

The SNB said that in relation to gross domestic product, the current account surplus reached 13 per cent, compared with 11 per cent in the previous year.

A statement said exports and imports of goods had expanded by more than 10 per cent in 2000. It added that mainly as a result of higher oil prices, the balance of trade closed with a deficit of SFr2 billion after having recorded a surplus of SFr1 billion in the previous year.

Trade in services also exhibited "quite dynamic development", the SNB noted, with exports growing by 13 per cent. In particular, tourism and the banks contributed to the growth.

Swiss direct investment abroad grew from SFr54 billion in 1999 to SFr70 billion in 2000. Large-scale acquisitions by the banks and the chemical industry were decisive factors for the rise, the SNB commented.

Foreign direct investment in Switzerland climbed by more than a half to SFr29 billion, also as a result of acquisitions.

swissinfo with agencies


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