Strong domestic consumption and healthy demand abroad portend a bumper year for Swiss foreign trade. Latest figures show that trade expanded more in the first nine months than in the whole of last year.
Domestic demand has stimulated imports, while exports have shown their best performance for three years.
The Finance Ministry on Tuesday released figures showing that nominal imports rose by 13.2 per cent (real 6.9 per cent) during the nine months to SFr93.93 billion ($52.18 billion).
Exports increased by 12.4 per cent (real 8.4 per cent) to reach almost SFr93 billion. The Ministry said that the trade deficit was SFr935.8 million, four times higher than a year ago.
It added that prices for both imports and export rose considerably, in part due to higher prices for petroleum products.
In exports, the metal, machine, watches and electronics sectors showed high growth rates, while chocolate and cheese recorded losses.
Strong import growth was recorded in the electric and electronic branches, software and jewellery.
swissinfo with agencies
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