Swiss Inflation Eases in January


Swiss consumer price inflation eased slightly in January as retailers slashed prices in winter sales and a strong franc made imports cheaper, indicating the central bank has little reason to raise interest rates soon.

Consumer prices rose 0.3 percent from a year earlier, the Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday, lagging forecasts inflation would be unchanged from December at 0.5 percent. Prices fell 0.4 percent compared to December.

The Swiss National Bank has said inflation pressures are well under control in the near term and has indicated that it is unlikely to raise interest rates so long as the franc continues to trade close to record highs.

Switzerland's low-inflation environment stands in stark contrast with rising inflation globally, which is posing a dilemma for central bankers elsewhere.

In Switzerland, politicians have called on retailers to pass on lower costs for imports to consumers. In January, prices for imported goods dropped 1.9 percent.


TradingEconomics.com, Reuters
2/11/2011 11:11:32 AM