The position of the Swiss franc exchange rate in the Swiss National Bank monetary policy strategy

Jean-Pierre Roth, Chairman of the Governing Board

University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, 19.12.2007

The exchange rate is an important factor in determining the domestic price level in Switzerland. Nevertheless, it is not a monetary policy goal for the Swiss National Bank and is only relevant insofar as it has an impact on future inflation. Our concerns about our currency's weakness should not be read as a hidden form of exchange rate policy but rather as genuine concern about future price stability. A sustained tendency to weakness on the part of the Swiss franc could trigger inflationary effects that – sooner or later – would have to be countered with monetary policy instruments taking the form of interest rate measures. In the medium-term, this could lead to a reduction in the interest spread between the Swiss franc and the euro.