Swiss Trade Surplus Largest in 6 Months in July
Swiss trade surplus widened 28.1 percent to CHF 3.51 billion in July 2017 from CHF 2.74 billion a year earlier and above market expectations of CHF 2.88 billion. It was the largest trade surplus since January as exports rose mainly boosted by sales to the US, China, Singapore and Hong Kong while imports fell. In June 2017, the trade balance was downwardly revised down to a CHF 2.76 billion surplus.
Year-on-year, exports rose by 4.3 percent to CHF 18.35 billion, mainly driven by an increase in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (10.3 percent); metals (8.7 percent), and watches (3.6 percent). In contrast, sales fell for: machinery and electronics (-0.8 percent); precision instruments (-0.9 percent), and jewelry and bijouterie (-23.1 percent).
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Among major trade partners, sales went up to: Singapore (74.5 percent); Hong Kong (22.0 percent), and the US (31.3 percent). In contrast sales went down to China (-0.1 percent); Japan (-4.9 percent); EU countries (-4.2 percent), mainly Germany (-2.8 percent) and France (-22.1 percent).
Imports edged down 0.1 percent to CHF 14.84 billion, due to a decrease in purchases of jewelry and bijouterie (-23.0 percent); vehicles (-18.1 percent), and food, beverages and tobacco (-0.2 percent). In contrast purchases increased for: chemical and pharmaceutical products (7.6 percent); machinery and electronics (6.9 percent); metals (11.2 percent), and textiles, clothing, footwear (9 percent).
Among major trade partners, purchases went down from the US (-27.7 percent). In contrast, purchases rose from: China (5.1 percent); Japan (10.5 percent); Singapore (1.5 percent), and EU countries (2.7 percent), mainly Germany (1.4 percent), and Italy (8.0 percent).
In the January-July period 2017, the trade surplus widened to CHF 22.42 billion from CHF 21.33 billion in the same period of 2016.