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Swiss Trade Improves

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Swiss Trade Balances have improved during the month of April according to data just released by the country’s Federal Customs Administration. The headline figure showed a Trade Balance of Chf 2,425M compared to a revised March number of Chf 1,996M, the market had expected a reading more like Chf 2,052M. Month on month actual Swiss Exports fell to Chf 17,077M in April from a revised Chf 17,331M in March, however when calculating this on a working day adjusted basis in order to account for the easter holiday the exports in fact rose 5.5% on the month. Imports fell slightly from Chf 15,334M in March to Chf 14,652M in April.

The leading categories driving the increase were pharmaceuticals and jewellery, exports of these groups grew 7.9% and 53.4% respectively on the month. The Federation of the Swiss Watch industry noted a 6.7% increase in export sales during the month of April, more notable however is that 4% of the increase in sales was in the category of greater than 3,000 francs. This increase in the luxury goods sector befits a recovery in the Swiss export market. The trade pickup is no doubt aided by the artificial cap placed on the Swiss Franc against the Euro by the Swiss National Bank, despite this however exports to Germany dropped almost 9.4% on the month.

The recovery in Switzerland is slowly gathering pace, a recent strong uptick in the manufacturing sector bodes well for the introduction of stable growth in this economy. First quarter GDP growth figures due tomorrow are expected to confirm that expansion is setting in, a figure of 1.9% year on year is anticipated by the markets, if achieved this would represent a further 0.2% increase on the final quarter of 2013, there are however challenges yet to be overcome, particularly the borderline negative inflation rate.

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