Switzerland's current account surplus rose to around 16 billion Swiss francs ($17.91 billion) in the first quarter, 5 billion francs higher than the year-ago period, Swiss National Bank (SNB) statistics published on Monday showed.

"The primary contribution to this rise in the current account balance came from trade in goods, which increased due to higher (non-monetary) gold trading and merchanting balances," the central bank said in a statement. ($1 = 0.8932 Swiss francs) (Writing by Friederike Heine Editing by Miranda Murray)