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Swiss exports show 'Olympic form': report

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Swiss exports show 'Olympic form': report
Watch exports were among the sectors on the rise. Photo: Mike Chapman
11:57 CET+01:00
Bucking concerns over the strong franc, Swiss exports showed “Olympic form” in February, jumping 7.1 percent over the same month a year earlier to 17 billion francs ($19.2 billion), a government report said on Thursday.

Imports to Switzerland increased 3.3 percent to 14.4 billion francs, leaving a trade surplus of 2.6 billion francs, the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) said.

A strong franc makes Swiss exports more expensive to foreign buyers but companies in Switzerland appear to have adapted to the unfavourable currency situation. 

The Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical industries were the main driver of exports, accounting for 90 percent or 1.1 billion francs of the growth from the previous year.

Chemical and pharma sales jumped 16.7 percent to 7.4 billion francs in February from the same period in 2013, FCA said.

Watch exports rose seven percent to 1.7 billion francs, while those from the plastics sector climbed 8.7 percent to 293 million francs.

Most sectors recorded increases in exports except for textiles, clothing and shoes (down 1.8 percent), jewellery (3.1 percent lower) and food, drink and tobacco (down 4.8 percent).

Swiss exports gained in most regions, except Oceania and the Middle East.

Imports rose 19 percent from the US and by five percent from Europe, while dipping two percent from Asia.

Sales of equipment, including planes and utility vehicles, from abroad rose almost eight percent, while consumer goods imports, including medicine and cars, rose six percent.

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