Switzerland: Consumer prices continue to fall on an annual basis in March
April 1, 2021
Consumer prices increased 0.34% in March over the previous month, accelerating from the 0.16% rise recorded in February. March's uptick was the sharpest increase in prices since March 2019. Looking at the details of the release, transportation prices rose at a quicker pace in March compared to the previous month, while price pressures for healthcare remained weak.
Consumer prices fell 0.2% in annual terms in March, a more modest drop than February’s 0.5% fall. Meanwhile, the trend was unchanged, with the annual average variation of consumer prices coming in at February's minus 0.8% in March.
Inflation is expected to return later this year, supported by a weaker franc, higher oil prices and stronger activity. However, price pressures will be muted nonetheless, which will ensure the Swiss National Bank maintains its extremely expansionary monetary policy.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist