ZURICH Dec 20 Swiss exports grew robustly in
November as strong sales to the United States and Asia helped
offset more muted growth in its biggest trading partner Europe,
suggesting firms are managing to shake off the strong Swiss
Exports from Switzerland rose by a real 4 percent
year-on-year in November to 18.776 billion Swiss francs, the
Federal Customs Office said on Thursday.
Despite faster-than-expected growth in the third quarter,
the Swiss National Bank said last week it expects growth to
significantly weaken in the final three months of the year as
the global economy stays fragile.
But Thursday's number suggest the economy is resilient, with
exports in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry rising a
real 11.1 percent, while exports in the machinery and
electronics industry were in positive territory for the first
time in 16 months.
Sales to Asia increased by 8.7 percent and to the United
States by 21.3 percent, compared to a 1.1 percent rise in sales
to the European Union.
Overall Switzerland ran a merchandise trade surplus of 2.946
billion Swiss francs in November, the second highest monthly
surplus ever registered.
A raft of recent data has also suggested the economy may
have emerged from a trough. Swiss investor sentiment in December
rose to its highest level in seven months, while November
industrial production grew at a rate not seen since early 2011.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley/editing by Chris Pizzey, London
MPG Desk, +44 (0)207 542-4441)