* CPI down 0.4 pct year/year, down 0.3 month/month
* Analysts had forecast flat prices y/y and m/m
* Franc dips against euro after data
* Central Bank keeping franc cap in place
* Jobless rate ticks up, but still relatively low (Adds details, analyst comment)
ZURICH, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Swiss consumer prices dropped more than expected in November as fuel, rents and food costs fell, supporting the case for the Swiss National Bank to maintain its cap on the franc.
Prices fell 0.4 percent from a year ago compared to a drop of 0.2 percent in October, and were down 0.3 percent from the previous month. Analysts had forecast flat prices on the month. .
Seeking to prevent deflation and a recession, the SNB capped the franc at 1.20 per euro in September 2011 after investors seeking a safe haven from the euro zone crisis had pushed the Swiss currency from one record to another.
The franc, which has weakened away from the 1.20 level in recent months as market tensions linked to the euro zone crisis have eased, ticked lower after the inflation data.
It traded at around 1.2106 per euro at 0824 GMT, compared to 1.2096 before the announcement.
“There are no inflation risks and deflation risks are kept in check by the exchange rate floor,” said Sarasin economist Alessandro Bee.
“We’ve seen less tension there over the last days: the franc is back on a level where intervention is not an issue. At 1.21 francs per euro, the SNB does not have sleepless nights.”
Separate data on unemployment released on Thursday also suggested the Swiss economy is weathering the crisis better than most.
The non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 3.1 percent in November from 2.9 percent in the previous month, while the adjusted figure was steady at 3.0 percent.
SNB officials have stressed in recent weeks the cap will stay in place. Chairman Thomas Jordan said last week Switzerland needed to keep a lid on the franc for the foreseeable future or risk threatening price stability and economic growth.
The SNB, which forecasts consumer prices will fall 0.6 percent this year and rise 0.2 percent in 2013 and 0.4 percent in 2014, will issue new inflation forecasts when it holds its next quarterly monetary policy meeting on Dec. 13.
Core inflation, which strips out volatile price elements such as fuel, came in at minus 0.6 percent in November compared with minus 0.8 percent in October.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said last week the SNB should keep interest rates at rock bottom as it forecast that Swiss prices would fall 0.6 percent in 2012 and rise only 0.1 percent in 2013.
Analysts predict Swiss prices should start rising again in coming months as the global economy stabilises.
“For Switzerland we expect the deflationary trend to be broken by year end,” said ZKB economist Cornelia Luchsinger. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson, Martin de Sa‘Pinto and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by John Stonestreet)