* Trade surplus of 2.6 bln Swiss francs in Feb
* Exports rise a real 8.0 pct
* Sales to China up 55.5 pct
ZURICH, March 20 Swiss exports jumped in
February, powered by robust demand for chemicals and
pharmaceuticals, the country's largest export sector, and the
strongest growth in exports to China in three years, trade data
showed on Thursday.
Exports from Switzerland rose by a real 8.0 percent in
February to 17.019 billion Swiss francs ($19.45 billion), while
imports rose 3.0 percent to 14.403 billion, the Federal Customs
The increase in exports adds to a run of positive data,
pointing to an upturn in the Swiss economy after weaker than
expected fourth quarter growth.
Exports grew in seven of the 10 most important sectors.
Sales of pharmaceuticals and chemicals were up by a real 20.7
percent, while sales of watches rose 2.9 percent.
Sales to Europe - the country's biggest trading partner -
rose by 8.6 percent, while exports to China posted their
strongest growth in three years, rising 55.5 percent, the
customs office said.
Overall, Switzerland ran a merchandise trade surplus of 2.6
billion Swiss francs.
($1 = 0.8749 Swiss Francs)
(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Toby Chopra)