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Pharma exports rise as watch sales slump

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Pharma exports rise as watch sales slump
Woman takes a photo of a display for Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer in New York. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP
12:11 CET+01:00
Swiss imports and exports rose in November from the same month a year earlier, although the watch industry was among those continuing to see declines, according to figures released on Tuesday.

Exports rose 4.7 percent to 18.3 billion francs, the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) said.

But after correction for the fact that there was one more working day last month than in November 2014, exports dropped three percent, while prices fell 3.4 percent, the FCA said.

Imports jumped 8.3 percent to 15.1 billion francs, while on a corrected basis the increase was 1.4 percent.

Switzerland continued to generate a trade surplus — 3.1 billion francs in November, 607 million francs lower than a year earlier.

It maintained a cumulative positive balance of 34.1 billion francs for the first 11 months of the year, up by more than 5.8 billion francs from the same period in 2014.

The pharmaceutical and chemical sector showed the strongest growth in exports in November, up 6.8 percent or 2.6 percent higher on a corrected basis.

The watch industry posted the worst performance with exports down 5.6 percent to 1.95 million francs for the month, its worst November in five years, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) said in a news release.

A steep decline in sales of timepieces to HongKong, the biggest market for Swiss watches, drove the negative results.

Exports to Hong Kong dived 27.9 percent to 247.8 million francs, while those to the second-largest market in the US dipped 5.3 percent to 237.7 million francs, FH said.

Barring a major boost in sales in December the watch industry looks set to record lower exports for 2015 than in the past two years.

Watch exports for the first 11 months of the year totalled 19.7 billion francs, 3.3 percent lower than in the same period in 2014.
 

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