The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Swiss Exports Stagnate in February This Year

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 19 March 2024

Swiss exports barely move, while imports gain ground. Chemical-pharmaceutical sector shines amidst overall downturn in export sectors.

Swiss Exports Stagnate in February This Year
Keystone/FRANCK ROBICHON

Swiss Exports experienced a mixed performance in February. The standstill in exports contrasted with a noticeable uptick in imports, signalling a nuanced trade landscape.

According to the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS), exports reached CHF 21.2 billion in February 2024, marking a marginal 0.1% increase from the previous month.

This subtle rise, when adjusted for seasonal effects, underscored the continued stagnation that has characterised the sector since October 2023.

The import side painted a different picture, with a significant 2.9% nominal and 3.8% real increase, totaling CHF 18.9 billion. This surge narrowed the trade balance surplus to CHF 2.2 billion, down from CHF 2.8 billion.

The mixed performance across sectors revealed a contraction in most export areas, notably a 16% decline in raw and basic materials. In contrast, the chemical-pharmaceutical division, a cornerstone of Swiss exports, saw a 0.7% uptick.

Geographical disparities further illustrated the variegated export environment. Exports to China dipped to an annual low, contributing to a 3.6% decrease across the Asian market.

European exports also receded by 0.6%, whereas North American exports witnessed a 1.3% increase. The import growth was spearheaded by heightened demand for chemical-pharmaceutical products and vehicles, including aircraft, highlighting a broad-based increase in goods inflow from all major economic regions, with Asia leading the surge.

©Keystone/SDA

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