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Machine exports soar on back of strong economic growth

The Swiss machine industry is on the up


Switzerland's machine industry is continuing to go from strength to strength after a difficult period in the 1990s. Sales in the first nine months rose by a fifth compared to the same period last year.

Latest figures released on Wednesday from the industry's association, Swissmem, show third quarter sales up 17.8 per cent on the same period last year.

Over the entire nine-month period sales are up almost 11 per cent on 1999. Orders have grown by 20 per cent.

The healthy picture is attributed to the continuing economic boom in the United States as well as stronger growth in Europe and Asia. Machine exports for the third-quarter are up 13.9 per cent, the best quarterly result since 1997.

Sales to Finland (up 24 per cent), the Netherlands (up 17.1 per cent), Britain (up 16.7 per cent) and Italy (14 per cent) were particularly strong.

The leap in Swiss machine exports has been even more dynamic in parts of Asia. Exports to South Korea were up almost 80 per cent while those to Indonesia expanded by 64 per cent.

Swissmem said the rapid growth in the industry was unlikely to be sustained as the global economy slowed down.

It also warned that the direction of the money markets should be closely watched. The weakness of the franc against the dollar and the yen is helping exporters to North America and Asia, but the euro's weakness is having a negative impact on Swiss export to Euroland.

swissinfo with agencies

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