The Swiss trade surplus narrowed to CHF 1.32 billion in January 2018 from CHF 3.37 billion in the previous month, missing market expectations of CHF 2.78 billion. It was the smallest trade surplus since December 2013.
Exports decreased by 4.2 percent from the previous month to CHF 18.94 billion in January, mainly due to lower sales of: chemical and pharmaceutical products (-5.3 percent); machinery and electronics (-1.8 percent); precision instruments (-3.2 percent); jewelry and bijouterie (-13.7 percent); and food and beverages (-7.4 percent). In contrast, exports of watches increased by 4.1 percent.
Among major trade partners, exports declined to the US (-7.5 percent); and the EU (-5.4 percent), mainly Germany (-1.1 percent), France (-7.6 percent) and Italy (-6.2 percent). Meanwhile, sales went up to Japan (21.3 percent), China (4 percent) and Hong Kong (3 percent).
Imports rose 7.5 percent to CHF 17.61 billion, boosted by an increase in purchases of: chemical and pharmaceutical products (29.8 percent); vehicles (12 percent); jewelry and bijouterie (6.6 percent); and machinery and electronics (0.5 percent). In contrast, imports fell for metals (-1.7 percent); food and beverages (-0.9 percent); and textiles, clothing, footwear (-3.4 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports went up from the US (39.5 percent); Japan (1.4 percent); and the EU (8.9 percent), mainly from Italy (2.1 percent), Belgium (1.9 percent), Spain (10.9 percent) and Austria (40.4 percent). In contrast, purchases fell from Germany (-2.4 percent), France (-4.6 percent), China (-3.5 percent) and Hong Kong (-40.5 percent).
2/20/2018 11:55:17 AM