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Exports slump while trade surplus widens

Swiss exports fell heavily in October as markets reacted to the global financial slowdown.

Figures released on Thursday by the Federal Customs Office showed they declined in real terms by 8.1 per cent compared with a year ago to SFr18.2 billion ($15 billion).

Six out of ten sectors reported negative export growth, while the trade balance increased to SFr1.8 billion in October from SFr1.46 billion in September.

Exports for Switzerland's watch industry, which had shown signs of recent resilience to the economic downturn, grew only 0.1 per cent in October, and were valued at just under SFr1.7 billion. That followed 15.5 per cent growth in September.

"A sharp deceleration and we expect the figures to get progressively worse over the next 12 months," said Jon Cox, an analyst with Kepler Capital Markets.

Sales of wristwatches costing more than SFr3,000 grew in October.


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