Exports hit a seven-year low

Swiss exports have suffered their worst fall in seven years, after a downturn in the last quarter of 2008.

This content was published on February 3, 2009 - 10:09

At the same time the balance of trade surplus reached a new "historic" peak of SFr19.8 billion ($17 billion) - a 42 per cent gain on the previous year - the Federal Customs Office announced on Tuesday.

Although full-year exports reached a record SFr206 billion, there was a "clear change" in the last three months resulting in around half of export sectors producing negative annual results.

The textile industry, with a reduction of 7.7 per cent, was the worst affected. Only the food, beverages and tobacco industry achieved an expansion in double percentage figures.

A spokesman described the month of December as a "mensis horribilis for trade", after exports plunged 13 per cent as demand fell from key markets such as Germany.

Foreign trade grew in spite of the economic crisis, nominally by 4.6 per cent in exports and 1.8 per cent in imports.

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know:

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?