Swiss trade surplus recorded a surprise drop in March, the latest figures from the Federal Customs Administration showed Tuesday.
The trade surplus totaled CHF 1.69 billion in March, down from a revised CHF 2.61 billion surplus in February. Economists were looking for an increase to CHF 3 billion.
Exports fell 3.3 percent year-on-year in March to CHF 17.5 billion. Imports fell 6 percent on year to CHF 15.8 billion.
During the first quarter, exports dropped 0.5 percent from the same period last year, while imports grew 1 percent. The trade balance was in a surplus of CHF 5.9 billion, less than CHF 6.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 and higher than CHF 5.14 billion in the first quarter of 2011.
Elsewhere, the Federation of the Swiss watch industry said the monthly value of watch exports was CHF 1.6 billion in March, 15.2 percent higher than last year. The first quarter recorded watch exports valued at CHF 4.6 billion, an increase of 17 percent from last year.
by RTT Staff Writer
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