Swiss consumer prices continue to fall

Annual consumer price deflation deepened in Switzerland last month to 0.4 percent from 0.2 percent in October, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO) said in a statement.

Consumer prices last month, meanwhile, fell 0.3 percent compared to October.

The month-on-month drop was mainly due to slipping prices for fuel, housing prices and food goods, the FSO said.

The decline was offset by slightly higher prices for alcoholic beverages, tobacco and leisure and cultural activities, the agency said.

On Wednesday, the FSO said it expected Swiss consumer prices to fall 0.7 on average this year, while it now believes they will rise 0.2 percent next year compared to a September forecast of 0.5 percent.

Consumer prices are also expected to rise 0.2 percent in 2014, the FSO said.

The Swiss State Secretariat for the Economy (SECO) meanwhile reported Thursday that the Swiss unemployment rate had risen 0.2 points last month to
3.1 percent, compared to 2.9 percent in October.

And for 2013, employer organization EconomieSuisse expects the unemployment rate to rise further to 3.3 percent.
Despite the rise, Switzerland's low jobless rate and even labour shortage in some areas, including in luxury watchmaking, remains a rare exception in Europe.
Unemployment in the neighbouring eurozone for instance soared to a record high in October of 11.7 percent.

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