Swiss trade surplus rises 10.2% in October

Switzerland's trade surplus increased 10.2 percent last month to 2.2 billion francs ($2.4 billion) despite the impact of the strong franc on exports, customs officials said on Tuesday.

Exports rose 1.5 percent to 17 billion Swiss francs in October compared to the figure for the same month last year, marking a slowdown after September’s 3 percent increase.

Only certain sectors recorded an increase, notably the watch industry and to a lesser degree the chemical and food sectors, a statement said.

Sales to the EU, Switzerland’s main trading partner, fell 2.2 percent but exports to North America, its second largest market, rose 6.9 percent.

Exports to Asia increased 5.4 percent, with a 12 percent drop in China sales countered by a jump in sales to India (26 percent) and Japan (21.2 percent).

Imports remained stable in October, rising 0.3 percent compared with a 0.8 percent increase the previous month.

Since the beginning of the year Switzerland’s trade surplus has risen 15 percent to about 19 billion Swiss francs.

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