In November 2012, exports from Switzerland rose by 4 percent year-on-year 18.776 billion Swiss francs. Numbers show demand for Swiss goods is holding up, with exports of chemicals and pharmaceuticals rising by 11.1 percent, while sales abroad in the machinery and electronics industry were in positive territory for the first time in 16 months. Growth of exports of Swiss watches, for a long time the most resilient of Swiss industries, slowed to a real 2.9 percent in November, far below the average yearly trend of 8.4 percent.
Sales to Asia increased by 8.7 percent and to the United States by 21.3 percent in November. This compared to a 1.1 percent rise in sales to the European Union, with export growth held back by declining exports to Italy - the country's second-biggest trading partner within the bloc - which tumbled 11 percent. Overall Switzerland ran a merchandise trade surplus of 2.946 billion Swiss francs in November, the second highest monthly surplus of the year.