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Swiss trade surplus grows in February, Seco lifts GDP outlook

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Staff Writer | March 20, 2018
Switzerland's foreign trade surplus increased notably in February, as exports rebounded and imports plunged, the Federal Customs Administration reported.
Switzerland
Switzerland   The trade surplus rose to CHF 3.2 billion
he trade surplus rose to CHF 3.2 billion in February from CHF 1.1 billion in January.

In real terms, exports rose 2.3% monthly in February, reversing a 4.8% decline in the prior month.

Meanwhile, imports fell notably by 9.5% from January, when it grew by 4.7%.

A report released by the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry showed that watch exports surged 12.9% to CHF 1.7 billion in February.

The Swiss economy is set to continue its dynamic recovery underpinned by foreign trade and domestic demand, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) said.

In the Spring forecast, the federal government's expert group forecast 2.4% growth this year, slightly faster than the 2.3% rise estimated in December. Similarly, the outlook for 2019 was raised to 2% from 1.9%.

The agency observed that the buoyant international economy is supporting foreign trade and a favorable investment climate is stimulating domestic demand.

However, there is likely to be only a moderate rise in consumption over the coming quarters. Nonetheless, consumption is expected to accelerate eventually over the course of the forecast period.

The promising upturn is to be accompanied by a further noticeable brightening on the labor market and a moderate rise in inflation, the SECO said.

The expert group doubled its inflation projection for 2018 to 0.6% from 0.3% but maintained its estimate for 2019 at 0.7%.

The government anticipated a marked increase in employment to 1.3% in 2018 and 1.0% in 2019, and a further drop in unemployment to 2.9% in 2018 and 2.8% in 2019.


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