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Financial News: SNB's Maechler Says CHF Remains Overvalued, Poses Major

SNB's Maechler Says CHF Remains Overvalued, Poses Major Challenge For Companies

02/06/2017 - 05:56:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Swiss franc remains clearly overvalued and poses a major challenge for many companies in the country, but the level of the currency is not the only consideration for the central bank to set policy, the Swiss National Bank Governing Board member Andrea Maechler said Monday.

"The level of the franc is an important factor for the Swiss economy, but it is not the only one," Maechler said in a interview to the Tribune de Geneve newspaper.

Interest rates, inflation and the global situation are equally important, she added.

"The economy of a country cannot depend on a single "magic" figure, even as important as the exchange rate," she said.

"We believe that the franc remains clearly overvalued," Maechler said. This was especially true in relation to the euro, which is the most important currency for Swiss exports, she added.

She also said that the franc would be even stronger without the negative interest rates.

But, monetary policy does not take into account a single exchange rate, but the levels of all currencies, the policymaker said.

The SNB estimates 1.5 percent growth for 2016 and 2017. The bank expects a gradual improvement in the labor market, and these economic developments are satisfactory given the difficult global environment, Maechler said.

"However, growth is not broad based," she said.

Acknowledging that the strong franc is hurting machinery and watch exports, she said that was not the only problem and pointed out the cyclical problems and the need for innovation.

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