Exports from Switzerland suffered a fall of nearly a quarter in June, continuing a trend that has wiped out three years of trade growth.
The Federal Customer Office reported on Tuesday that exports had fallen by 23.5 per cent in June, and that exports and imports both dropped by 16 per cent in the first six months of the year – the largest decline ever recorded over a six month period.
Switzerland's trade balance posted a surplus of SFr1.57 billion ($1.47 billion) in June, down from around SFr2 billion in May.
In a related development, the Swiss watch industry reported that the value of exports had fallen by 26.4 per cent during the first six months to SFr6.1 billion.
In June alone, exports fell by 31.9 per cent to SFr1.1 billion.
The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry in Biel said the value of Swiss watch exports recorded a "significantly greater" fall in June than in previous months.
It noted that with an above-average fall, gold watches pulled the total value down sharply downwards.
As far as export value is concerned during the first half, Hong Kong tops the list with just over SFr1 billion (-22.2 per cent), followed by the United States with SFr673.3 million (-43.3 per cent) and France with SFr471.6 million (-10 per cent).
swissinfo.ch with agencies
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