ZURICH, August 22 Swiss exports fell in July
when adjusted for an extra working day in the month, the Federal
Customs Office said on Thursday, as appetite for Swiss goods in
its largest trading partner Europe remained weak.
An extra working day helped real exports rise by 3.0 percent
in July to 18.222 billion Swiss francs ($19.80 billion), while
exports of watches, pharmaceuticals and chemicals rose.
But exports from Switzerland fell by 1.9 percent on an
Swiss exports have been supported by a cap the central bank
imposed on the soaring franc currency in 2011, but have suffered
from sluggish demand in Europe where an economic crisis has
sapped business and consumer confidence.
Exports to Europe stagnated in July, the customs office
Swiss National Bank board member Fritz Zurbruegg said in a
newspaper interview this month the central bank's cap on the
safe-haven currency would be kept in place for as long as needed
even though the franc has recently weakened.
The SNB's next policy meeting is on September 19.
Exports of pharmaceuticals and chemicals, the country's
biggest export category, rose 8.9 percent while machines and
electronic devices were up 6.2 percent and watch exports rose
The trade surplus narrowed to 2.380 billion francs in July
from 2.819 billion a month earlier.
($1 = 0.9205 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Toby Chopra)