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German Exports to Switzerland Jumped to a Record Last Year

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- German exports to Switzerland rose to a record last year.

Exports climbed 14.5 percent to 47.7 billion euros ($62.6 billion), the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said in an e-mailed statement today. While less than the 17.3 percent increase in 2010, it was more than the 11.4 percent gain in overall German exports in 2011, the office said. Imports from Switzerland also reached a record last year, rising 13.4 percent to 36.9 billion euros.

“The German and Swiss economies are very closely intertwined,” said Claude Maurer, an economist at Credit Suisse Group AG in Zurich. “The strong Swiss franc also helped.”

A stronger franc makes imported German goods cheaper in Switzerland. In September last year, the Swiss central bank capped the franc at 1.20 per euro, saying its gains threatened to hurt exports and stoke deflationary pressures. The German and Swiss economies expanded 3 percent and 1.9 percent respectively in 2011.

The imposition of the currency cap “explains why Swiss export growth to Germany did not fall much behind Germany’s export growth to Switzerland,” said Jan Amrit Poser, chief economist at Bank Sarasin in Zurich.

The statistics office said German exports of cars and car parts to Switzerland jumped 27.6 percent last year, while exports of metals gained 25 percent. German imports of Swiss pharmaceutical products rose 20.1 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph de Weck in Frankfurt at jdeweck@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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