Trade gets early boost in 2012

Imports to Switzerland picked up in January, with goods and services entering the country increasing 9.3 per cent over the previous year’s figures, countering a negative trend at the end of 2011.

This content was published on February 21, 2012 - 09:01 and agencies

The Swiss purchased SFr14.624 billion ($16.06 billion) of goods and services from abroad at the beginning of the year, while exports for the same period totaled SFr16.177 billion, up 5.4 per cent over January 2011, according to figures from the Federal Customs Administration.

Pharmaceuticals were a major contributor, with exports increasing by SFr577 million and imports by SFr900 million (up 45 per cent).

Demand for Swiss watches remains high, with exports increasing 15.5 per cent over January 2011.

The only other sector to make any significant gains abroad was the food and drink business, with coffee and cheese leading the way. However, chocolate was down 12 per cent over the same period last year.

Exports increased to all destinations except for Africa, with the North American market gaining more than 20 per cent. Good and services sold to the European Union grew by just one per cent though.

Besides pharmaceuticals, imports were also boosted by energy purchases, while consumer goods rose one sixth.

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