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Record-high export sentiment despite higher barriers to trade

SME Export Outlook Q2 2018

Global barriers to trade are increasing. While this poses particular challenges for many Swiss SMEs, it has not dampened the extraordinarily bright export sentiment. The latest survey by Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) indicates that export sentiment will remain stable at a high level in the second quarter of 2018.

SME Export Outlook

Two-thirds of the SMEs surveyed believe exports will continue rising in the second quarter of 2018. The Credit Suisse Export Barometer supports this outlook. Its reading is once again well in the growth zone, underscoring the optimistic export outlook of a 4% increase in 2018. The strongest growth is anticipated in cyclical sectors such as MEM and chemicals, while the pharmaceuticals industry is likely to benefit to a lesser extent from the economic upswing. Despite protectionist tendencies and rising barriers to trade, one out of two SMEs consider international growth opportunities today to be just as good as they were five years ago.

Sascha Jucker, Credit Suisse economist explains: “The MEM and chemical industries, which are exactly the sectors that suffered most from the strong franc in recent years, are making the biggest gains now. It's a very positive sign that exports as a whole are advancing, even without major growth stimulus from the key pharma sector.”

Alberto Silini, Head of Consulting at Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), adds: “Swiss SMEs are not discouraged by trade barriers and protectionism. This testifies to their great optimism and indicates the strength of this year's growth trend.”

But how can Swiss SMEs expand internationally despite trade barriers? This is the theme of this year’s Aussenwirtschaftsforum hosted by Switzerland Global Enterprise on April 26, 2018 at the Messe Zürich exhibition center. At Switzerland’s large annual meeting of exporters, SMEs can learn valuable tips while enjoying access to the concentrated know-how of 600 participating companies and experts on international growth. Program and Registration

Video statements (in German) on current export sentiment by Sascha Jucker, Credit Suisse economist, and Alberto Silini, Head of Consulting at Switzerland Global Enterprise:

The SME Export Outlook for the third quarter of 2018 will be published on July 12, 2018.

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