Ein schwieriges Jahr

Hans Meyer, Chairman of the Governing Board

Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Southern Upper Rhine and the Chamber of Commerce of Basel City and Basel Land, Freiburg im Breisgau, 20.10.1998

The Swiss National Bank is currently facing a series of imponderables in implementing its monetary policy. These imponderables concern three main aspects. First, the crises affecting the rising economies and the strong price declines on the stock markets are making it difficult to forecast economic development in Switzerland. Second, the monetary base, which has for a long time been successfully used as an intermediate monetary target by the Swiss National Bank, has of late been exposed to various shocks, with the result that the National Bank can no longer base its monetary policy evaluations on the course of the monetary base to the same extent as hitherto. Third, with the advent of the euro, the monetary environment of Switzerland's monetary policy will undergo considerable changes.

In particular, the development of the Swiss franc rate vis-à-vis the euro is an uncertain factor. After giving an in-depth analysis of Switzerland's economic situation, the paper deals in detail with the implications of these uncertainties for the policy of the Swiss National Bank.