Annual Swiss producer and import prices fell sharply in December versus December 2011, evidently as a result of a strengthening Swiss currency over the past year.
The Swiss Federal Statistics Office reported on Monday that producer and import price index (PPI) fell 2.3 percent in December from a year ago, while forecasts were for PPI to fall further by 2.9 percent from a previous 2.4 percent decline.
Meanwhile, on a month-to-month basis the import and producer price index moved up 0.3 percent in December beating expectations for drop of 0.2 percent from a 0.8 percent fall. Domestic producer prices rose 0.2 percent and import prices grew 0.5 percent.
Data show that goods ranging from shampoo to cream to jeans are frequently more expensive in Switzerland than in neighbouring countries.
Due to the strengthening Swiss franc in 2011, which rose nearly 20 percent against the euro within the space of just a few months early last year, the Swiss National Bank imposed a cap of 1.20 francs per euro to protect the economy from a recession.