Switzerland Posts Record Trade Surplus in July


Switzerland posted a record trade surplus in July and although the pace of export growth slowed, the economy is expected to maintain momentum in the third quarter.

Exports from Switzerland rose 2.2 percent in real terms in July to 16.776 billion Swiss francs ($13.32 billion), the Federal Customs Office said.  Overall, Switzerland ran a merchandise trade surplus of 2.886 billion Swiss francs, its biggest ever, the office said.

Export growth eased from a 12 percent year-on-year surge in shipments in June although June figures were helped by a base effect.

Despite concerns a strong franc could hurt exports, confidence in Switzerland's economic outlook is improving and the ZEW investor sentiment index jumped to 9.1 points in August, from 2.2 percent in July, data showed on Thursday.

The Swiss franc, which investors regard as a safe haven, rallied more than 10 percent against the euro in the first six months of the year. That raised fears it would hurt exports, but so far there has been little evidence to support this.

The euro zone is Switzerland's biggest trading partner. Last week data showed Germany's economy grew by 2.2 percent in the second quarter -- its fastest quarterly expansion since reunification.

The customs office said the rise in exports was chiefly due to growth in demand outside Europe. Watches posted a nominal 19.9 percent increase, followed by metals and precision instruments.

June's trade balance was revised to 1.71 billion francs and exports were revised to 17.254 billion francs.


TradingEconomics.com, Reuters
8/21/2010 5:05:05 PM