Switzerland’s trade balance figures were released this morning by the Swiss Federal Statistics Office. The report indicated that the trade surplus widened less than expected for the month of April but was up CHF1.516 billion versus a revised CHF0.997 billion in March (revised down from 1.087b). Expectations were for a surplus of CHF 2 billion.
A breakdown of the data indicated an increase in exports by almost 8 percent on a monthly comparison compared to a 4 percent rise in imports. In the prior month’s change, imports rose by only 1.8 percent whereas exports fell by 3.1.
The Trade Balance index measures the difference in worth between exported and imported goods (exports minus imports). This is the largest component of a country’s balance of payments.
Exports need to rise faster than imports for the economy to grow. If exports rise faster, demand of Swiss Franc goes up, whereas if imports rise more, then Swiss francs leave the country and weaken the currency.
After release of the news at 8am, Swiss time, USDCHF jumped up 12 pips from 0.8694 to 0.8706 within three minutes.
Meanwhile, about an hour later, employment data were released. Swiss non-farm payroll figures rose slightly to 4.110 million in the first quarter from the prior 4.100 million. USDCHF became volatile again and spiked up slightly then back down.