With all the gloom that has descended on Switzerland after the sharp rise in its currency, it is nice to be reminded of its economic strength. Goods exports excluding services for 2014 grew 3.5% to reach a record 208 billion francs, surpassing 2008’s record of 206 billion. To give this context, Switzerland’s goods exports alone had a value approaching the gross domestic product (GDP) of Portugal, a larger country with a higher population.
Of these total exports 46% went to the Euro zone, 12% to the rest of Europe, 22% to Asia, 14% to North America and 6% to the rest of the world. The share of exports going to the Euro zone declined while the shares to the USA and the UK grew the fastest. The share of Swiss exports going to the Euro zone has shrunk by 4% over the last 5 years.
By industry sector, 41% were chemical and pharmaceuticals products, 16% machines and electronics, 16% watches and jewelry, 7% precision instruments, 6% industrial metal products, 4% food and drinks and 10% a mixture of products from other industries. These industry shares have remained stable over the last 5 years.
Figures for the month of December 2014 suggest that watch and jewelry exports might have started to decline in line with slowing growth in key markets such as China where there was also a crack down by officials on expensive gifts.
Overall however the Swiss “miracle” appears to still be alive and well, at least it was in 2014.
Official Confederation press release (in English)
Swiss export figures since 1999 – Confederation Swiss (in French)