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Swiss exports slip as franc strengthens

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Switzerland’s exports fell in February as the strong Swiss franc eroded demand from the European Union and Asia for the country’s pharmaceuticals, chemicals and machinery products.

Exports in February dropped 3.9% from a year earlier, to 16.12 billion Swiss francs ($16.5 billion), the customs office said Thursday. In nominal terms, exports also fell 3.9%, it said.

Imports reached 13.65 billion francs, down 2.1% in real terms and 5.3% lower in nominal terms. The February trade surplus narrowed to 2.47 billion francs from 3.4 billion francs in January.

Watch exports in February slipped a nominal 2.0%, according to the customs office. Watch exports were worth 1.69 billion francs, a decline of 1.5% in real terms.