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Customs Authorities Say Strong Swiss Franc Slows Growth

The Swiss franc, which has been trading at record highs against major currencies in recent weeks, has begun slowing down trade growth, customs authorities said on Thursday.

"The strength of the franc slowed growth," said authorities in a statement on Swiss trade performance in June and the first half of the year.

While exports in June were up 4.3 percent at 15.8 billion francs, the growth was significantly slower than the 16.7-percent jump in exports recorded in May.

With imports up 2.7 percent at 14.1 billion francs, the trade surplus for June reached 1.7 billion francs, just over half that of the 3.3 billion francs recorded a month ago.

The Swiss economy ministry cut its growth forecast for 2012 in June, citing the strengthening Swiss franc as having introduced new risks.

It now expects gross domestic product growth of 2.1 percent for 2011 and 1.5 percent for 2012.

Amid anxiety over the Eurozone and the U.S. debt crises, the euro has lost about 11 percent against the franc over the past six months, while the dollar has lost 15 percent.

Source: Agence France Presse


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