The Swiss trade surplus widened to CHF 3.07 billion in November 2018 from a downwardly revised CHF 2.55 billion in the previous month. It was the largest trade surplus since January 2017, as exports rose 1.8 percent to an all-time high and imports fell 1.2 percent.
Exports increased 1.8 percent from a month earlier to a record CHF 19.2 billion in November, boosted by increases in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (3.9 percent), watchmaking (0.5 percent), precision instruments (0.7 percent), and food, beverages and tobacco (2.9 percent). By contrast, there were declines in exports of machinery and electronics (-0.9 percent), metals (-2.3 percent), and jewelry and bijouterie (-2.0 percent).
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Among major trade partners, exports rose to China (14.1 percent), the US (4.7 percent) and the UK (1.8 percent). Meantime, exports to the Euro Area fell 0.8 percent, in particular to Germany (-6.1 percent) and France (-2.3 percent). Still, there were gains in exports to Italy (1.9 percent), the Netherlands (13.4 percent), Austria (38.2 percent) and Spain (17.1 percent).
Imports declined 1.2 percent to CHF 16.1 billion in November, as purchases fell for machinery and electronics (-5.6 percent), metals (-3 percent), and jewelry and bijouterie (-2.9 percent) while imports of chemical and pharmaceutical products were unchanged. On the other hand, imports increased for vehicles (2.5 percent) and textiles, clothing, footwear (3.5 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports from the Euro Area went down 0.2 percent, namely from France (-0.6 percent), the Netherlands (-4.1 percent), Austria (-11.7 percent) and Spain (-3.3 percent), while those from Germany and Italy rose 0.5 percent and 2.9 percent respectively. Also, imports dropped from China (-9.6 percent) and the UK (-6.3 percent) but increased from the US (8.7 percent).
Considering January to November, the trade surplus narrowed to CHF 17.51 billion from CHF 21.38 billion in the same period of 2017.