November 16, 2017 / 7:39 PM / in a year

UPDATE 1-SNB head says not ready to normalise monetary policy

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GENEVA, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Swiss National Bank (SNB) Governor Andrea Maechler signalled on Thursday that it remained committed to its ultra-loose monetary policy, noting that inflation was very low.

Over the past two and a half years, the SNB has used a combination of negative interest rates and currency market interventions to curb demand for the safe-haven franc, whose strength has weighed on the export-reliant economy.

Its benchmark interest rate is currently minus 0.75 percent.

“We at the SNB are not ready to normalise our monetary policy,” Maechler said in response to questions after a speech.

“A certain number of countries are starting to. It’s a good thing. The global economy is going in right direction.”

But for Switzerland, inflation remained very low, she said. She expected consumer prices to rise only 0.3 percent on average in 2017, following 0.4 percent last year.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by John Stonestreet

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