Swiss Inflation Picks up in January


Inflation in Switzerland accelerated in January by more than analysts had expected, a sign that the need for the Swiss National Bank's drastic anti-deflation measures is fading.

The consumer price index in January rose 1.0 percent from a year ago, though it was 0.1 percent lower compared with the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday.

Switzerland emerged from recession in the third quarter of 2009, and recent indicators have pointed towards further recovery.

Swiss National Bank Vice-Chairman Thomas Jordan said earlier this week that it was as yet too early to raise interest rates, though prolonging loose policy was not without dangers.

Most economists expect a small interest rate increase in the second half of 2010. In March, the SNB cut its three-month LIBOR target to 0.25 percent and intervened in currency markets to fight the worst recession in decades.

The influence of post-Christmas clothing sales was offset by rising crude oil prices, the statistics office said.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile price elements such as tobacco and fuel, ticked up to 0.6 percent.


TradingEconomics.com, Reuters
3/9/2010 9:37:38 AM