Switzerland: Inflation returns to negative territory in February
March 7, 2014
Consumer prices rose 0.1% over the previous month in February. The reading contrasted the 0.3% fall registered in January, but fell short of the 0.2% increase that markets had expected. The monthly increase reflected higher prices for clothing and footwear-which were mainly driven by end of winter sales-as well as for housing and housing maintenance, which mainly reflected higher apartment rentals. Consumer prices fell 0.1% over the same month last year in February, which marked the first decrease following three consecutive months of increase in consumer prices. The inflation rate remains well below the Bank's 2.0% target. The annual average variation in consumer prices fell 0.2% in February, which followed a similar decrease in January. The Central Bank expects inflation to increase in 2014 and to average 0.2%. For 2015, the Bank expects inflation to rise further to 0.6%. Panelists polled by FocusEconomics see inflation at 0.4% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, panelists expect inflation to rise to 1.0%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist