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Inflation slows in Switzerland

Sausage prices were higher in June although overall year on year inflation fell

(Keystone Archive)

Inflation slowed in June to 1.6 per cent a year-on-year after a 1.8 per cent increase in May, in a sign that price pressures are under control at a time of slowing economic growth.

The Federal Statistics Office said June inflation was up 0.2 per cent on May and up 1.6 per cent compared with June 2000.

Gilbert Vez of the Statistics Office said it was difficult to predict whether the July annual figure would be lower too.

"It is always very hard [to predict] because of the oil price, but in principle petrol and heating prices should be down in July," he said.

In July 2000, inflation was 0.1 per cent and if prices will rise by this amount in July 2001, the annual rate will be stable, he added.

Vez added that prices for fruit and vegetables, which were up in June as the first summer specialities reached the markets at higher prices, were also set to decline in July when supply became more abundant.

The increase in the month-on-month June inflation data is due to a rise in the index for foodstuffs and alcohol free drinks, mainly fruit and vegetables as well as sausages.

Housing and energy costs were also up, while telecommunication prices were down. Alcoholic drinks were down due to lower prices for imported red wine.

The Swiss National Bank said in June it expected inflation of 1.4 per cent in 2001, rising to 1.6 per cent in 2002.

On Monday, data showed the Swiss purchasing managers' index fell again in June, staying below the critical 50 per cent level for the third month in a row in fresh evidence that the manufacturing economy was losing steam.

Economics minister Pascal Couchepin said on Monday that the jobless rate fell to 1.6 per cent in June from May's 1.7 per cent - the lowest level since December 1991.

swissinfo with agencies


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