Ekonomické zprávy

Swiss consumer price growth accelerated sharply in January

Data published by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) showed that consumer price growth accelerated to 3.3% per annum in January, compared with 2.8% in December. Economists had expected consumer price growth to accelerate to only 2.9%. On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 0.6% after a 0.2% decline in December. Consensus estimates suggested an increase of 0.4% per annum.

The FSO reported that the monthly increase was due to several factors including rising prices for electricity and gas. Hotel accommodation also recorded a price increase, as did bread and coffee. In contrast, prices for air transport and petroleum products decreased as well as for clothing and footwear, the latter due to seasonal sales.

The data also showed that in January, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) - an indicator that allows to compare inflation in Switzerland with inflation in European countries - grew by 0.7% on a monthly basis and by 3.2% per annum.

At its meeting on 15 December, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) raised its policy rate from 0.50% to 1.00%. Looking ahead, the SNB reiterated guidance that it “cannot be ruled out that additional rises in the SNB policy rate will be necessary to ensure price stability”. The SNB expects inflation to average 2.4% in 2023 and 1.8% in 2024. These above-target inflation forecasts for the end of the forecast horizon signal that the SNB is not done with monetary tightening. Thus, a further 0.5% rate hike could take place at the next meeting in March.

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