SNB’s Jordan can’t rule out recession – Blick paper

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank does not think the Swiss economy will slide into recession but cannot rule the prospect out, SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan said in a newspaper interview published on Friday.

“We do not expect that at the moment. The Swiss economy should grow by 2% this year,” the Blick paper quoted him as saying. The SNB gave that forecast on Thursday when it hiked its policy rate by 75 basis points into positive territory.

“Next year, the situation could cloud over further. But there are a number of risks that could have a negative impact on economic growth. For example, if energy prices rise sharply again or if the economy abroad deteriorates. Or if the coronavirus situation worsens again,” he said.

“All of that would have a very negative impact. And then one could no longer completely rule out the possibility that the global economy, and thus also the Swiss economy, could slip into recession.”

Jordan said it was up to individual banks to decide what interest rates to offer to savers now that the SNB had ended the era of negative rates.

“But the banks compete with each other and depend on savers bringing their money to the bank, having their salary account there. In the medium term, this will also cause interest rates to rise on bank accounts,” he said.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Paul Carrel)