Swiss inflation unexpectedly slows in September

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FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk along the street after the Swiss government relaxed some of its COVID-19 restrictions in Zurich

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss consumer price inflation slowed to 3.3% in September but still surpassed the Swiss National Bank’s 0-2% target range for the eighth month in a row.

Economists had expected the year-on-year rate to hold steady at August’s 3.5%, a 29-year high.

The index fell 0.2% versus August given falling prices for fuels, heating oil, hotels and supplementary accommodation. Prices for clothing and footwear increased.

Core inflation that strips out volatile items like fuel and food prices was unchanged versus August and rose 2.0% year on year.

The Swiss National Bank is ready to take further steps to fight inflation despite price rises in Switzerland being relatively modest compared to international peers, SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan said last week.

The SNB last month hiked its policy rate to 0.5%, ending a near 8-year era of negative interest rates.

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(Reporting by Michael Shields)