Consumer prices advanced 0.5 percent from a year earlier after increasing 0.2 percent in November, the Federal Statistics Office in Neuchatel said in an e-mailed statement today. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.4 percent, according to the median of nine estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.
Crude oil prices have jumped 8.7 percent over the past year, pushing up fuel costs and leaving households with less money to spend just as economic growth weakens. The Swiss National Bank last month raised its 2011 inflation forecast, citing higher energy costs.
In the month, consumer prices were unchanged after rising 0.2 percent in November, the statistics office said.