CORRECTED-Swiss inflation weaker than expected in March

Tue Apr 9, 2013 3:38am EDT

(Corrects third paragraph to show core inflation fell)

ZURICH, April 9 (Reuters) - Swiss inflation was weaker than expected in March, data showed on Tuesday, underlining the central bank's view that a lid is needed on the franc.

Prices fell 0.6 percent from a year ago and rose 0.2 percent from the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office said. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast prices to fall 0.5 percent year-on-year and rise 0.3 percent month-on-month.

Core inflation, which strips out more volatile components like food and beverages, seasonal products, energy and fuel, fell 0.6 percent in March.

Seeking to prevent deflation and a recession, the Swiss National Bank capped the franc at 1.20 per euro in 2011 after investors looking for a safe haven from the euro zone crisis had pushed the currency to record highs, pressuring import prices.

At its quarterly policy meeting in March, the SNB reiterated its commitment to inflation forecasts, predicting prices will fall 0.2 percent in 2013 and rise 0.2 percent in 2014 and 0.7 percent in 2015.the defending the limit as it trimmed its (Reporting by Emma Thomasson)

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