Rising prices boost foreign trade

A scientist with vials of vaccines.

(15.02.2022) Exports and imports reached record highs in 2022. According to the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS), exports increased by 7.2% in nominal terms, while imports surged by 16.8%.

Imports rose from CHF 201.3 billion in 2021 to CHF 235.2 billion in 2022. Energy imports, in particular, doubled. However, in real terms, imports increased by only 0.7 percent between 2021 and 2022 and actually declined in the third and fourth quarters (-0.3 percent and -0.4 percent, respectively).

Similarly for exports: the actual figures show a slight increase of 0.1%, in contrast to the significant increase a year ago (+9.5%). In the last quarter, export trade fell by 1.8% year-on-year, after having risen slightly in the third quarter (+0.4%).

Switzerland's trade balance ended 2022 with a surplus of CHF 43.5 billion, down CHF 15 billion from 2021 (CHF 58.5 billion). Chemicals and pharmaceuticals, the driving force behind Swiss exports, contributed CHF 3.7 billion to the increase in exports.

Meanwhile, the watchmaking and jewelry sectors proved to be the most robust, with growth rates reaching 11.4% and 14.8% respectively. The machines and electronics (+6.1%), metals (+8.5%) and precision instruments (+4.2%) sectors rounded out the top of the rankings.

In terms of trade partners, Switzerland increased its exports to Asia by 8.6%, to North America by 7.8% and to Europe by 6.3%. Imports from the USA were also extremely high, up by 22% while Europe (+18.2%) and China (+13.5%) also increased significantly in 2022.


Last modification 15.02.2023

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