The Swiss trade surplus widened to CHF 2.04 billion in February 2019 from CHF 1.39 billion in the previous month.
Exports increased 2.3 percent from a month earlier to an all-time high of CHF 19.4 billion in February, driven by sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (3.9 percent); watchmaking (1.1 percent); metals (3.2 percent); and jewellery (0.8 percent). By contrast, exports declined for machinery and electronics (-0.1 percent), precision instruments (-0.2 percent), and food, beverages and tobacco (-0.5 percent).
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Among major trade partners, exports rose to Germany (0.2 percent), the Netherlands (4.3 percent), Spain (74.8 percent), the UK (11.6 percent), the US (9.1 percent), Canada (1.8 percent) and the Middle East (11.9 percent). Meanwhile, there were declines in exports to France (-1.6 percent), Italy (-5.1 percent), Austria (-21.4 percent), China (-4.5 percent), Japan (-8.4 percent), Hong Kong (-2 percent) and Singapore (-20.5 percent).
Imports dropped 1.2 percent to CHF 17.4 billion, dragged by purchases of chemical and pharmaceutical products (-1.1 percent); machinery and electronics (-1.9 percent); vehicles (-4.1 percent); jewellery (-5.1 percent); metals (-0.5 percent); textiles, clothing, footwear (-2.3 percent); and food, beverages and tobacco (-2.3 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports decreased from China (-13.8 percent), Japan (-11.6 percent), the UAE (-50.7 percent), Spain (-1.3 percent), Ireland (-5.5 percent) and Austria (-19.3 percent). Meanwhile, imports increased from Germany (1.4 percent), France (3.6 percent), Italy (2.8 percent), the UK (75 percent), the Netherlands (3.9 percent) and the US (1.2 percent).
Considering the first two months of the year, the trade surplus increased to CHF 3.43 billion from CHF 2.57 billion in the same period of 2018.