But is not there a long-term weakening of the Swiss franc over the euro?04 December 2016
The Swiss National Bank SNB intervened less than expected in the foreign exchange market in November, with the euro-franc exchange rate falling below 1.07. Could this mean that the SNB could accept a stronger franc in the long term?
In the second half of November, exporters and politicians were watching with fears the development of the euro-franc exchange rate after the surprise victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election. Quite to the delight of cross-border commuters in the Swiss border regions, the euro dipped below 1.07 francs without recovering to a large extent. The euro seldom cost less than 1.08 last year. This development could indicate that the well-performing Swiss economy has adjusted to a strong franc environment and that further weakening is no longer necessary.
This could mean that the SNB will increasingly let the market decide on the price development, which would mean a higher fluctuation. The current development of the sight deposits of the SNB indicates that interventions in the foreign exchange market have already been cut back sharply and have only risen by CHF 4.8 billion after the US elections.
The Swiss economy is expected to grow 1.5 percent in 2017. That's almost twice as much as this year. The arguments of the proponents of a strong monetary policy are thus significantly weakened. Also, the European Central Bank will curb its expansionary monetary policy next year and thus make the euro stronger. This trend is already evident in the course of the US dollar, after central bank president Janet Yellen has indicated that an increase in the key interest rate is likely to occur relatively soon. The environment could therefore play into the hands of the SNB and give it more freedom.
Both frontier workers and exporters and importers will continue to monitor developments. We, too, of course.