A boom in foreign trade is the main factor behind a surge in economic growth. The finance ministry said the value of exports rose by 12.7 per cent in the first half of the year, while imports were up 13.9 per cent over the same period last year.
The ministry said the figures for June showed no sign of a slowdown. Last month, exports were worth SFr10.34 billion and imports SFr10.29 billion, leaving Switzerland with a trade surplus of SFr48.4 million.
For the first six months, Switzerland recorded a trade deficit of SFr609 million, compared to a slight surplus over the same period in 1999 of SFr20 million.
On the export side, the watch industry experienced a particularly strong increase in sales abroad, coming on the back of a seven per cent increase in the value of exports last year.
Among the industrialised countries, there was strong growth in trade with Japan and the United States. Imports from the US rose by 27.6 per cent and were up 17.7 per cent with Japan. Trade with the European Union remained stable.
The finance ministry also noted a significant increase in trade with newly industrialised and developing countries, chiefly Russia, China and Poland.
swissinfo with agencies
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