Swiss Inflation Slows

Swiss inflation slowed in October as the price of oil dropped. CPI rose 2.6 percent from a year earlier after increasing 2.9 percent in September. Prices rose 0.5 percent from the previous month.

Swiss households may see price increases ease further in the coming months as a 55 percent drop in oil prices since mid- July helps reduce energy costs. With inflation pressures abating, the Swiss central bank may have more room to lower interest rates amid faltering growth.

Switzerland's leading economic indicators fell to the lowest level in more than five years in October. As a global slowdown hurts exports and financial market turmoil hits banks' earnings, the Swiss economy may contract in the coming two quarters, the Zurich-based KOF economic research institute said Sept. 28.

At 2.50 percent, Switzerland's interest rate is the third- lowest among major economies, after Japan's 0.3 percent and the U.S.'s 1 percent. The Swiss National Bank holds its next monetary-policy meeting in December.

Swiss Inflation Slows,
11/4/2008 5:07:40 AM