Zurbruegg Says SNB Doesn’t See Imminent Inflation Pressures

Swiss National Bank (SNBN) Governing Board member Fritz Zurbruegg said the central bank doesn’t see inflation strains in the economy.

“We do not see imminent inflation pressures,” Zurbruegg said in a speech in Zurich today. “You have global growth which is only gradually, gradually recovering, on the other hand you have spare capacity in many countries including Switzerland, so from that point of view there is no immediate upward pressure on inflation rates.”

The SNB, which has kept its benchmark interest rate at zero percent since August 2011, predicts consumer prices will drop 0.1 percent in 2013, before rising 0.4 percent in 2014. It expects the economy to grow in a range of 1 percent to 1.5 percent this year.

“I remain convinced that we will be moving up as soon as economic fundamentals once again come bear,” Zurbruegg said, speaking of interest rates. “The turning point is economic growth, once we get economic growth back going, we are going to see things normalize,” he said, adding that the SNB “is absolutely committed to low and stable inflation rates.”

Zurbruegg said that “negative interest rates in form of policy rates are definitely not in the cards in Switzerland.”

UBS AG (UBSN) and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN)’s decision to charge financial institutional clients for cash balances held in Swiss francs was a “logical business decision,” Zurbruegg said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Zurich at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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