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IMF praises central bank policy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has taken appropriate measures to combat the financial crisis.

Presenting a report on Switzerland in Bern on Monday, the IMF's Paul Hilber said the SNB had left itself room to manoeuvre despite low interest rates.

But the IMF said Switzerland would not escape the downturn due to its dependence on the global economy. Hilber said gross domestic product would fall by at least two per cent this year.

He also warned that if unemployment figures continued to rise, there would be a drop in domestic consumption – which has proved to be very robust up to now. Unemployment reached 3.4 per cent in February, the highest rate in three years.

At the same presentation, an SNB expert said the central bank would do everything in its power to prevent deflation.

The SNB is scheduled to present its latest monetary policy assessment on Thursday.

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