Foreign trade balance continues to increase
Liechtenstein exported more goods last year, but imports lingered lower than in 2018. As in the previous year, the foreign trade balance surplus continued to rise.
Liechenstein exported goods totalling a value of 3.698 billion Swiss francs last year, according to a report from the Office for Statistics (AS). Compared to the previous year, this equates to an increase of 1.1 per cent. Meanwhile, Liechtenstein imported goods worth a total of 1.978 billion francs, marking a drop of 1.8 per cent year-on-year. The foreign trade balance surplus closed 2019 with an export surplus of 1.719 billion francs. In the previous year, the value was 76 million francs lower.
As drivers of the growth in exports, the report cites precious metals, steel and jewel stones. The export of precision instruments, watches and jewelry, as well as chemical-pharmaceutical products, also grew significantly year-on-year, write the AS analysts. Development in exports was dominated by the strong decline in machinery, apparatus, electronics and vehicles. This development was also strongly influenced by “declining demand in Europe and Asia”, according to the report.
Raw materials and semi-finished products witnessed the greatest decline among imports in 2019. The import of consumer and investment goods also fell compared to 2018. At the same time, the import of energy sources increased year-on-year. With a proportion of 41.4 per cent of total imports, investment goods continued to be the most important group of imports in 2019 as in the previous year. On a regional level, the decline of imports from Germany and China was particularly marked.
External trade relations with Switzerland are not included in the report. As a general rule, these figures do not feature in the Office for Statistics’ reports, because trade with Switzerland is recorded at the Swiss border controls.