Swiss exports fall almost eight percent in October

ZURICH Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:48am EST

ZURICH Nov 20 (Reuters) - Swiss exports fell by 7.7 percent in October in real terms, dragged down by a negative trend in the machinery and electronics industry.

When adjusted for two extra working days in October, exports fell by 16.0 percent in real terms, the Federal Customs Office said on Tuesday.

Overall, Switzerland ran a trade surplus of 2.821 billion Swiss francs in October.

Exports in the important chemical and pharmaceutical industry grew by a real 1.1 percent. Sales of machinery and electronics slid by 8.8 percent.

Swiss exporters have been helped by a cap the central bank imposed on the red-hot franc at 1.20 per euro more than a year ago, even though many still see the safe-haven currency as too strong.

Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan said last week the reasons behind the setting of the minimum exchange rate were still valid.

At its September policy meeting, the SNB cut its 2012 growth forecast to one percent from 1.5 percent after the economy shrank unexpectedly in the second quarter as the crisis in the euro zone dampened demand for Swiss goods and services.

($1 = 0.9229 Swiss francs)

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