Switzerland’s Consumer Prices Unexpectedly Unchanged in July

Swiss consumer prices unexpectedly remained unchanged in July, snapping 21 months of declines.

Prices held steady from a year earlier after dropping 0.1 percent in June, the Federal Statistics Office in Neuchatel said in an e-mailed statement today. Economists expected an annual decline of 0.1 percent, according to the median of 15 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

The Swiss National Bank (SNBN) imposed a franc ceiling of 1.20 versus the euro in September 2011 to fight deflation threats. Even so, consumer prices continued to drop and before last month were in their longest stretch since at least 1971, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The SNB, headed by President Thomas Jordan, expects consumer prices to fall 0.3 percent in 2013.

The cost of imported consumer goods fell 1.2 percent from a year earlier and decreased 1.4 percent from June, today’s report showed. Prices of domestic goods climbed 0.4 percent on the year and were unchanged on the month.

Under a European Union harmonized method, Swiss consumer prices rose 0.5 percent from a year earlier and were unchanged on a monthly basis.

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Bosley in Zurich at cbosley1@bloomberg.net

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

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