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Strong franc slowed Swiss trade in 2011

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08:38 CET+01:00

Switzerland's trade performance was muted in 2011 as the strong Swiss franc and gloomy global economic outlook took their toll, official figures showed on Thursday.

Exports in 2011 rose 2.1 percent to 197.6 billion francs while imports were up 1.9 percent at 173.7 billion francs, both figures well still well below 2008 highs, the customs administration said.

In December alone, exports were flat at 15.6 billion francs ($17 billion) while imports dropped 5.3 percent to 13.6 billion francs.

The trade surplus for the year at 24 billion francs was still a record, up 22 percent from 2010, the customs said.

"While demand from Asia flourished, it stagnated in Europe," it said in a statement.

"Aside from the global economic slowdown, the main drag on exports was the strong Swiss franc. Exporters therefore had to make price concessions, and quite significant ones in some cases," it added.

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