Swiss central bank left key interest rates unchanged on Thursday, Reuters reported. Bank assured that it will intervene if necessary to weaken “significantly overvalued” franc.
Recall that at the beginning of this year Switzerland shocked markets by removing the ceiling on the exchange rate of the franc against the euro.
As expected, the central bank kept the three-month interbank interest rate Libor between -1.25 and -0.25 percent and the deposit rate remained negative at a level of -0.75%.
Last week the European Central Bank disappointed markets by timid measures for incentives. ECB cut the interest rate on deposits from -0.2 to -0.3 percent and extend its program of incentives at least until March 2017 So Frank rose against the euro and the Swiss central bank does not need to lower rates further, says Reuters.
“Despite the weakening over the last few months, the Swiss franc is significantly overvalued,” the statement of the bank. “Negative interest rates make the currency less attractive and help to further her weight loss,” says the text.
Reuters indicates that negative rates and intervention by the Bank in the foreign exchange market helped the currency to stabilize at around 1.08 francs per euro. This level is tolerable for exporters in the euro area – the largest trading partner of Switzerland.
Swiss central bank maintained its forecast for inflation in 2016 of -0.5%, but lowered its forecast for 2017 from 0.4 to 0.3 percent because of “a slight deterioration in the outlook for the global economy.”
Economic growth this year is expected to be 1%, and the next – 1.5%.