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Swiss Trade Balance Falls to a 16-Month Low

By Benjamin Spier
05 February 2013 07:55 GMT

THE TAKEAWAY: Swiss trade balance falls to 1 billion Francs in December -> Exports make up around half of the Swiss GDP -> CHF trading unchanged

The Swiss trade balance fell to 16-month low in December, as the Federal Statistical Office reported that the amount of exports returned to decline. The trade balance was reported at 1 billion Swiss Francs, disappointing expectations for a 2 billion Franc trade balance, and down from November’s revised 2.91 billion trade balance.

Exports declined by 1.5% in December (real and seasonally adjusted), while imports rose by 5.5%. Swiss trade hasn’t seen a deficit in over twelve years.

Exports made up 51% of the Swiss gross domestic product in 2011, according to the World Bank. Therefore, the decline in exports is detrimental to the economy, especially when accompanied by a rise in imports. The drop in exports is partially a result of both the drop in demand from the nearby Euro-zone and the rise in strength of the Swiss Franc. The Swiss National Bank maintains a 1.20 ceiling in Franc trading against the Euro, and in addition to the effect on the GDP, the lower exports may also continue to pressure the SNB to maintain or raise the 1.20 ceiling. Therefore, a lower trade balance is Franc negative.

However, the lower trade balance did not have a significant effect on Franc trading against the Euro in Forex markets. EUR/CHF is currently trading around 1.2250, and may continue to see support here by the 61.8% retracement of the rally from the January low to the January high.

EURCHF Daily: February 5, 2013

Swiss_Trade_Balance_Falls_to_a_16-Month_Low______body_eurchf.png, Swiss Trade Balance Falls to a 16-Month Low

Chart created by Benjamin Spier using Marketscope 2.0

-- Written by Benjamin Spier, DailyFX Research. Feedback can be sent to bbspier@fxcm.com .

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05 February 2013 07:55 GMT