Swiss Foreign Trade Still in Doldrums

Switzerland’s foreign trade in July remained in the doldrums after a sharp drop in the first half of the year. Imports were down 14 percent in real terms, compared to last year, and a little lower than in June 2009., 8/20/2009 9:59:52 AM

Exports too were lower than in 2008 by 15.1 percent, an improvement on June’s 22.3 percent drop year-on-year drop. Overall the trade balance was slightly positive in July at  CHF 2.35 billion, an increase of 0.1 percent over July 2008. The figures were released by the  Swiss Federal Customs Administration (SFCA).

Exports in all industrial sectors were sharply down in July, but exports in the metallurgical, machinery and electronics, textile, watch, plastics, and paper and graphic arts industries were all down by more than 20 percent.

Imports of capital goods, consumer goods, and raw materials were also down. The only increase was in energy imports in constant price terms, that is, adjusted for inflation and currency variations.

Swiss foreign trade includes only the value of imports and exports of goods. It does not include items such as income from tourism, a big money earner for Switzerland, or financial services like banking and insurance. These numbers show up in the country’s current account balance.

Swiss Foreign Trade Still in Doldrums