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Swiss Export Growth Strongest Since 2010

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Switzerland's exports grew at the fastest pace in nearly a decade in 2018 to set a new record high, data from the Federal Customs Administration showed on Tuesday.

For the whole year of 2018, exports grew a nominal 5.7 percent, which was the fastest pace since 2010, after a 4.8 percent increase in 2017.

The value of exports reached a record high of CHF 233.1 billion.

In real terms, exports grew 1.2 percent after a 1.9 percent increase in 2017.

Likewise, the imports grew 8.6 percent to a record high CHF 201.8 billion, after a 7.0 percent increase a year ago. In real terms, imports rose 6 percent.

The trade surplus fell to CHF 31.3 billion in 2018 from CHF 34.8 billion in the previous year.

Machinery and electronics, and watches led the export growth in 2018.

Exports of chemical and pharmaceuticals grew 5.8 percent and those of machinery and electronics rose 4.6 percent.

Shipments of watches surged 6.3 percent and those of precision
instruments rose of 7.4 percent.

Exports to the UK tumbled 23 percent, the sharpest fall in three decades, ahead of Brexit, while those to the North America surged 11.6 percent.

Imports from the UK rose 27.3 percent.

Compared to the previous month, exports fell a nominal 3.0 percent in December after a 1.3 percent rise in November. Meanwhile, imports rose 3.9 percent in December after a fall of 1.2 percent in the prior month.

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