The euro: a challenge for the Swiss economy

Jean-Pierre Roth, Chairman of the Governing Board

Economic Symposium on the euro of the Integration Office DFA/DEA, Zurich, 17 September 2001, 17.09.2001

In his speech, Jean-Pierre Roth discusses the impact of the euro’s launch on Switzerland. The creation of a European currency block changes the position of the Swiss franc as a means of payment and leads to an exchange rate risk for the Swiss economy. The Swiss franc exchange rate against the euro may continue to fluctuate. Its low volatility since the beginning of 1999 ought not to encourage Swiss companies to abandon hedging the currency risk. The Swiss National Bank’s monetary policy is aimed at maintaining price stability in Switzerland rather than stable exchange rates. The latter, however, are taken into consideration as an important variable in the SNB’s monetary policy assessment.