ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss economy will continue to grow, but more slowly than earlier forecast, the Swiss National Bank said Thursday 17 March. It revised its growth rate down from 1.5% to 1% for 2016.
In a press release reviewing the global economby the SNB reports:
“[Swiss] annualised real GDP increased by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Thus, for 2015 as a whole, the Swiss economy recorded growthof just under 1%. This confirms the SNB’s assessment at the time of the minimum exchange rate discontinuation. However, the economic momentum is not broad-based. Profit margins are still under pressure at many companies, and the willingness to invest and the demand for labour remain commensurately subdued. Consequently, the unemployment rate has risen again slightly in recent months. Since the SNB assumes a more modest pace of global economic growth, it is also expecting a slower recovery in Switzerland. For this year, it is anticipating GDP growth of between 1% and 1.5%, instead of around 1.5% as hitherto.”
The bank says it will continue “its expansionary monetary policy” and insists that the Swiss franc is
still “significantly overvalued. Negative interest is making Swiss franc investments less attractive. At the same time, the SNB will remain active in the foreign exchange market, in order to influence exchange rate developments where necessary.”