Swiss trade surplus hits record in July
Switzerland's trade surplus in July hit a record 2.9 billion Swiss francs (2.2 billion euros, 2.8 billion dollars), boosted by strong demand for its watch and metal products, officials said Thursday.
"The trade balance shows with 2.9 billion francs the highest ever surplus on a monthly basis," the federal customs authority said, adding that it also marked a jump of 30 percent from the same month last year.
Exports were up 3.7 percent at 16.8 billion Swiss francs, while imports failed to keep up, falling 0.6 percent to 13.9 billion Swiss francs.
Foreign demand for watches was strong, with exports up 19.9 percent, while for metal products gained 19.7 percent year-on-year.
Growth in Swiss exports was most marked in Asia, which took an average 18.4 percent more from Switzerland during the month.
Exports to Singapore soared 75 percent, and those to Hong Kong were up by about half. To China, exports were also up 27.9 percent.
Strength in these markets helped to offset a drop of 1.2 percent in exports to the European Union, Switzerland's biggest trading partner.
© 2010 AFP