On monetary policy in the new year

January 20, 2000
University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen

Download file now

The file can be downloaded with the button below.


The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank, Hans Meyer, looks back and comments on the economic situation in the OECD area and in Switzerland. He considers the launch of the euro to have been a positive development in principle even if the new currency has depreciated by approximately 15% vis-à-vis the US dollar. The speech is dedicated primarily to the new monetary policy concept of the Swiss National Bank.

This concept consists of three elements: definition of price stability, use of a broadly-based medium-term inflation forecast as chief indicator, target range for the three-month rate in the Swiss franc money market for the implementation. With the new concept the National Bank in particular also increases the transparency of its monetary policy.

In defining price stability, it must be borne in mind that inflation cannot be measured with complete accuracy. Moreover, it is practically impossible for the National Bank to steer inflation precisely, which is why it does not pursue an actual inflation target. The inflation forecast over a period of three years reflects the National Bank's forward-looking stance. The target range for implementing monetary policy represents a deviation from quantitative standards in the money market. It became increasingly difficult to set such standards in view of the strong fluctuations in the banks' demand for sight deposits. In fixing a target range, the National Bank does not aim at pursuing an active interest rate policy and will continue to permit interest rate fluctuations to a certain extent.

The adjustment of the monetary policy concept takes account of the changes in the financial markets. In this way, the National Bank can also fulfil its mandate in future. The best concept, however, is only as good as its implementation. Very often, the willingness to take consistent, and sometimes unpopular, decisions is equally important. Support for monetary policy decisions from other political quarters is essential. Only if there is continued broad support of the political will to ensure stable monetary conditions in Switzerland, can the National Bank fulfil its mandate in the long term.

Additional files

Related content


  • Hans Meyer
    Chairman of the Governing Board

Your settings

Required: These cookies (e.g. for storing your IP address) cannot be rejected as they are necessary to ensure the operation of the website. These data are not evaluated further.
Analytics: If you consent to this category, data such as IP address, location, device information, browser version and site visitor behaviour will be collected. These data are evaluated for the SNB's internal purposes and are kept for two years.
Third-party: If you consent to this category, third-party services (used, for example, to add social multimedia content to the SNB's website) will be activated which collect personal data, process these data, disclose them abroad - worldwide - and place cookies. The relevant data protection regulations are linked in the 'Privacy statement for the website of the Swiss National Bank'.

Choose your preferred settings:

This website uses cookies, analytics tools and other technologies to provide requested features, content and services, to personalise the content shown, to provide links to social media, and to analyse the use of the website in anonymised form for the purposes of improving usability. Personal data are also disclosed abroad - worldwide - to video service providers and the analytics tools of these providers are used. More information is available under 'Manage settings'.