February sees surprise rise in exports

Exports showed a “surprising dynamism” in February to increase by around ten per cent to SFr16.5 billion ($18.3 billion), says the Federal Customs Office.

This content was published on March 22, 2011 - 10:58 and agencies

The rise, which comes despite the strong franc, was driven by exports in the machines and electronics sector (up by 20 per cent) and also by watches ticking nicely (up by 17.8 per cent).

Overall, Switzerland ran a merchandise trade surplus of SFr2.5 billion, a figure that has doubled within a year. Imports grew by only 2.2 per cent to SFr14.4 billion.

“This unexpected performance departs from the slowing down of the economy seen in the past months,” the customs office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said the sector had recorded “the best February in its history” and analysts welcomed the general export figures as showing growth across most geographical regions.

However, John Cox from Kepler Capital Markets said the decline seen in Saudi Arabia was a concern and “may be the sign of things to come in that region”.

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