21 Sep 2023

The Swiss National Bank pauses its monetary tightening, defying expectations of another interest-rate hike to avoid adding constriction on a stalled economy

- The SNB left today its key rate unchanged at 1.75%, debunking market expectations of an additional 25bp hike - The slowdown in inflation, the magnitude of the monetary policy tightening already implemented (CHF short term rates were still negative a year ago) and rising risks surrounding the global outlook underpin this decision. - Indeed, as inflation is within the SNB target (1.6%, in the 0%-to-2% target), economic activity is slowing down (0% GDP growth in Q2 2023) and the Swiss franc remains firm, the case for further tightening had turned much less compelling in the past few weeks. Unlike the ECB, forced to hike last week due to an inflation rate still much above its target, the SNB had very good reasons to pause today and adopt a cautious stance. - The SNB doesn’t rule out additional hikes in the future if warranted, but the combination of slowing growth in Europe (likely to dampen underlying price pressures) and of the strength of the currency are highly likely, in our view, to keep Swiss inflation dynamics in check in the months ahead.


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