Swiss consumer prices continued their longest slump in at least four decades in March.
Prices decreased 0.6 percent from a year earlier after dropping 0.3 percent in February, the Federal Statistics Office in Neuchatel said in an e-mailed statement today. That is the 18th straight month of annual declines, the longest stretch since at least 1971, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prices rose 0.2 percent on the month. Economists expected an annual decline of 0.5 percent and monthly increase of 0.3 percent, according to two Bloomberg News surveys.
The Swiss National Bank imposed a franc ceiling of 1.20 versus the euro in September 2011 to fight deflation threats. Even so, consumer prices have continued to slump. The SNB, now headed by President Thomas Jordan, sees consumer prices falling 0.2 percent in 2013, before rising 0.2 percent in 2014 and 0.7 percent in 2015.
The cost of Swiss imported consumer goods declined 2.4 percent from a year earlier and increased 0.6 percent from February, today’s report showed. Prices of domestic goods climbed 0.1 on the year and on the month.
Under a European Union harmonized method, Swiss consumer prices fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier and rose 0.5 percent on a monthly basis.
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