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Exports stagnate in June

Swiss exporters continue to suffer under the strong franc, with exports up only 0.4 per cent last month compared with the same period in 2010.

In reality, the figures were down 8.2 per cent, but this was because June 2011 had two fewer working days than the previous year.

Last month Switzerland exported goods and services worth a total of SFr15.8 billion ($19.2 billion), the Federal Customs Administration said on Thursday.

Looking at the first  six months of 2011, exports rose 4.3 per cent to SFr100.2 billion (up 11.7 per cent in real terms). The increase was notably greater in the first quarter, indicating that the strong franc had been an impediment.

Despite exchange rate concerns, watch exports for the first half-year jumped 19.3 per cent to SFr8.7 billion.

On Thursday, Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann told Blick newspaper that the situation was “alarming”.

He shifted responsibility onto the Swiss National Bank (SNB), saying the only effective short-term measures lay in the SNB’s hands not the cabinet’s. He also dismissed pegging the franc to the euro.

swissinfo and agencies

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